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Fairfield Prep Runner Signs With Virginia

FAIRFIELD, Conn. – Fairfield Prep senior Connor Rog had intended to keep his commitment to the University of North Carolina even after Tar Heels coach Peter Watson left for the same position at the University of Virginia.

When Watson invited Rog to Charlottesville to check North Carolina’s Atlantic Coast Conference rival, Rog felt that he wanted to be there, too. Wednesday, the two-time state Gatorade Runner of the Year officially signed his letter of intent to run for the Cavaliers.

“It’s a great place, I’ll get a good education, and it’s a place where I saw myself staying there for the next four or five years,’’ Rog said.

The process by which he arrived at his final decision was harder than running a marathon. Rog committed to North Carolina in November, and loved the school and the team.

“I was verbally committed and I was going to fulfill that commitment,’’ Rog said. “I talked to the new coach at North Carolina and felt he’d be able to handle things. After I visited Virginia, things started to come into perspective. They made me a nice offer and it wasn’t something that I could really resist.”

Rog felt a connection with tight connection with Watson, with whom, for one thing, he shares musical tastes. Rog has a compelling legacy in cross country and track while running for Prep. In November, he became only the second three-time winner of the Class LL championship. He also won the State Open, finished second in New England and finished 18th at the Foot Locker national championships. He is currently running in the indoor season, and will run in the Millrose Games later this month in New York.

“Connor was good enough that the whole process of where he’d run in college started early,’’ said his Prep cross country coach Bob Ford. “North Carolina is a wonderful school, Virginia is a wonderful school. You could tell he connected with coach Watson. As soon as he moved to Virginia, it changed the ecology of his college choice.”

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