No Washington football player has been more loyal to his teammates than Jimmy Rodgers. He's got everyone on speed dial. He stays in constant contact with his guys. He knows what all of them are doing.
The much-decorated safety from midway through the Don James era is still the captain, the heartbeat, the ringleader.
On Christmas Eve, Rodgers will take a moment here to remember the Husky teammates he's lost in recent years. Even for a middle-aged man, it's way too many. They died far too young.
They played in the Rose, Orange and Aloha bowls together, sharing in epic victories and surviving crushing upsets, and then headed for the NFL or everyday jobs.
Rodgers just this year reunited with Roger Tarver, a Californian who showed up at Washington as a running back and later made the move to the secondary. He seemed happy and healthy. Yet in November, Tarver suddenly passed away, leaving his former teammates shaken.
In this video, Rodgers lists some of the names of the departed from his 1980-84 UW football teams. They all meant something to the team. They all matter to Jimmy. Check out his video message.