Photos contributed

The life of Chester Rogers has been projected onto the huge silver screen and broadcast to millions across the globe. The Huntsville native and current member of the National Football League’s Indianapolis Colts is now 25 years old and wants to continue to play professional football as long as he can. Once his playing days are over, he’ll go back to what he was doing as a child – acting.

Using the stage name of Tre Rogers, at the age of 10, Rogers auditioned for and gained the role of the young version of Helms Boxer, played by actor Billy Dee Williams, in the motion picture “Constellation,” which was filmed entirely in Huntsville. Rogers was bitten by the acting bug, and he and his mother packed up and moved to Hollywood, where they spent four years acting in movies, commercials, TV shows and photo shoots.

“When the producers of ‘Constellation’ saw me, they encouraged me to pursue acting. They just seemed to fall in love with me because I have that type of personality,” said Rogers “Entertaining is my passion because I love to put smiles on the faces of those around me.”

For the past three years, the 6-foot, 184-pound wide receiver and kick returner has been helping fans of the Colts to smile, as he has had 95 receptions for 1,042 yards receiving and three touchdowns. This past season, the former Lee High School star also racked up 500 yards on 55 catches and additional yards by being a kick returner. The Colts completed the 2018-2019 season with a 21-7 victory over the Texans in the first round of the playoffs before bowing out with a 31-13 loss to the Chiefs.

Rogers signed with the Colts as an undrafted free agent May 2, 2016, after four years at Grambling State, where he had 155 receptions for 2,257 yards and 17 touchdowns. “When I signed, I was sort of overwhelmed by the notion I was headed to the NFL and shed a few tears with my family,” said Rogers.

Rogers began flexing his football skills at age 6, playing for the Huntsville Lakewood football program, where he quickly became a star running back and quarterback. His quest for football supremacy was put on hold when the “Constellation” movie production arrived in the Rocket City and with his subsequent move to Tinsel Town.

“Upon moving back to my hometown, I played football and basketball,” said Rogers. “I started as a quarterback but changed to wide receiver during my sophomore year. I knew I was pretty good at catching and running with the football. I attended receiving camps and had some good coaches at Lee High who helped me along the way.”

It’s not known by many today, but Rogers’ football career nearly came to an end the summer before his senior season for the Lee Generals. Playing in one of many 7-on-7 tournaments during school break, Rogers ran into a defender – face-to-face. He suffered an injury from the collision that broke his jaws, which left him with his mouth wired shut during the healing process. For seven weeks he was fed through a feeding tube, leading to significant weight loss.

Rogers was determined to come back, which he did in spectacular form, leading many college recruiters to make visits to Huntsville to see the quick-footed athlete in action.

“I thought I was going to Kentucky, where Tee Martin was wide receivers’ coach, but he left the Wildcats program and headed to USC,” said Rogers. “I knew I would not attend Kentucky after Martin exited the program and soon went to Grambling State as a walk-on – where I played for four years and where I earned my degree in business management.”

Rogers became a free agent at the end of this NFL season after a three-year contract with the Colts ended. Rogers said he hopes to remain with the Colts and someday end his professional career with the team.

Rogers said he was raised by his parents to always help others in need. He has continued that mindset by coming home during the off-season, where he lends a hand with helping families at Christmas, giving his time to local group homes and shelters. He has played a big part in the NFL Moms organization and in summer camps for local children, as well.

“This year my good friend Reggie Ragland of the Kansas City Chiefs, who played at Bob Jones, and I will team together for a special camp for local youth,” said Rogers. “We’re planning on something different. We haven’t revealed what the special event will be, but we guarantee it will be special for everyone involved.”

His parents and brother live in the Atlanta area, but that hasn’t kept Rogers from returning to his roots in north Huntsville, where he meets and greets everyone he sees with a smile – hoping to put smiles on their faces in return, fulfilling his passion.