COOKEVILLE, Tenn. -- Two new names have been added to the Tennessee Tech football roster, as transfers Bud Golden (Illinois) and Henry Rodgers (Memphis) have joined the Golden Eagles. Both will be available to play this week at Eastern Illinois.
Golden is a redshirt sophomore runningback who sat out one season and played one season for the Fighting Illini. He has three seasons of eligibility remaining, beginning in 2011. Rodgers graduated from Memphis and was on the Tiger roster for four seasons, including a redshirt year, and has one season of eligibility remaining as a graduate student. He is a wide receiver.
"Both of them will be on the trip to Eastern Illinois and would be available, but we're not sure if they're ready yet," said Golden Eagle head coach Watson Brown. "They've been here about a week, and they're working hard to learn our system, and we'd like to start putting them into the mix a little bit."
Tech's roster already includes a couple of Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) transfers in Will Johnson (Kentucky), Chris Dickerson (Middle Tennessee) and Matthew Barker (Oregon State), but Brown has typically built his teams from the ground up with freshmen-laden recruiting classes.
"We've had some (trasnfers)," Brown said, "but I'm not a transfer guy. We're not going to turn into that at all. But at the same time, this happened right when school started."
Golden, a standout from Cincinnati, played in all 13 games for the Fighting Illini last season, primarily on special teams. He finished with 32 yards on eight carries, a reception for 12 yards and returned four kicks for 52 yards. His career-high game was six carries for 29 yards and a catch for 12 yards in Illinois' 44-10 win over Purdue.
Golden posted impressive high school credentials at Sycamore High School, which also gave Tech current Golden Eegles Dwight Evans, Marty Jones and Alden Olverson. Golden was a four-star recruit by Rivals.com, listed as the 19th-highest rated tailback by the website. Some sources had him listed as the eighth-best high school player in Ohio.
In his senior campaign, Golden rushed for 1,513 yards with 19 touchdowns, and rushed in his career for a school-record 3,000 yards and 40 touchdowns.
"There was a connection there," Brown said. "Those kids have been happy here and that's why I think Bud came here. Bud was able to check us out and we were able to check him out because I could go straight to those three kids -- 'Is he a good kid? Does he care about the things we care about at Tech?' Boy, they were all just glowing about him."
Golden went to Illinois after being recruited by Pittsburgh, Minnesota, Cincinnati and Purdue.
Rodgers did not record any official statistics with the Memphis Tigers, but was a standout receiver for White Station High School in Memphis. In his senior campaign with the Spartans, Rodgers had 61 catches for 1,113 yards and had seven kick returns for 217 yards, including a 99-yarder against Wooddale. Rodgers was a Best of the Preps selection by the Commercial Appeal, and led White Station to a 12-2 record and a region championship. He made 13 catches in a game against Germantown High School.
He joined the Memphis program in 2007 and worked his first season with the offensive scout team. During the 2010 Blue-Gray Game, a team scrimmage, Rodgers logged four catches for 23 yards. He earned recognition as a member of the Tiger 3.0 Club and the C-USA Commissioner's Honor Roll.