Atlanta Falcons vs Detroit Lions - November 24, 2005

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Former Michigan State and Detroit Lions wide receiver Charles Rogers has passed away at the age of 38 reportedly from liver failure.

The news was confirmed by his old Saginaw High School coach Don Durrett when speaking to a local paper.

“I’ll tell you, he was—and I’m including Flint, too, since I coached at Flint Northern all those years—he’s the best athlete I ever seen,” Don Durrett said to the Detroit Free Press. “I mean, honestly. We’re talking about basketball, football and track together. He could have had a scholarship in all three sports. That’s how good. … I haven’t seen nobody that fast that could do it all. He was just a blessed athlete that could do it all.”

Chris Baker, who played alongside Durrett while at Michigan State, took to Twitter to offer his condolences.

“Devastated to learn of the passing of my spartan brother Charles [Rogers],” he tweeted. “Spoke with his mom this morning. Please pray for her and his children. Please also be respectful of their privacy at this time. Rip Chuck.”

The Michigan native stayed home to play for the local Michigan State Spartans and made a big splash. From 2000-2002 he would break several receiving records and recorded an impressive 1470 and 1351 yards during his two seasons in college. He would then decide to put his name into the 2003 NFL draft, and was eventually selected second overall by the hometown Detroit Lions. After getting off to a fiery start that included three touchdowns in his first 5 games, he’d break his clavicle and get ruled out for the rest of the season. In the following seasons, substance abuse allegations would hamper his successes and he’d be out of the league by 2005.

He is survived by his eight children.