Brookwood Football Standout Rodge Waldrop Closes Record High School Career

Phil Jones
Brookwood School senior quarterback Rodge Waldrop has had quite the high school football career. His four years at the Thomasville school saw him break several Brookwood records and a state passing record, and along the way, throw for a ton of yards.

The state record that now belongs to Waldrop occurred in an October meeting between the Warriors and Deerfield Windsor. In that October 6 contest in Albany, Waldrop completed 42 of 66 pass attempts for 698 yards passing and 9 touchdowns.

That’s not a typo. The tall southpaw passed for 698 yards and 9 TDs. He threw no interceptions, and he averaged 16.5 yards per completion in the 59-56 win.

Waldrop’s 9 passing TDs tied a single-game record set by North Whitfield quarterback Ed Staten in 1962. His 698 passing yards shattered the previous mark of 595 passing yards in a single game held by Lee County QB Justin Walker, whose accomplishment came during in the 2010 season.

Waldrop set numerous Brookwood football records, including:

  • Career Pass Attempts: 1,239
  • Career Passing Yards: 10,147
  • Career TD Passes: 110
  • Single-Season Pass Attempts: 427
  • Single-Season Passing Yards: 3,408
  • Single-Season TD Passes: 40
“Rodge is a competitive kid who grew into a 6-foot, 5-inch, 205-pound frame,” said Brookwood head football coach Shane Boggs, who has watched Waldrop develop since his middle school days. “He has a big-time arm, and the product of that competitive nature and his God-given ability is a bunch of broken records along the way. I am definitely proud of Rodge and all that he has accomplished.”

It’s easy to see where Rodge gets his athleticism. He is the son of Thomasville’s Heather and Mike Waldrop, who both were standout athletes. Mike was a pitcher at Irwin County High School and Georgia Southwestern College. Heather played multiple sports at Brookwood, where she recently was inducted into the Brookwood School Athletics Hall of Fame. She was a five-year starter in softball and basketball, and she also lettered in soccer and track and field, and served as captain of the Brookwood cheerleading squad. She earned multiple honors in each sport.

The Waldrops are local chiropractors and the owners of South Georgia Spine and Joint Center, with three locations including Thomasville.

Mike said their son has always played multiple sports. He was a three-sport athlete as he grew up, and that love of competition continued through his high school career at Brookwood. But it was football that Rodge seemed to be really drawn to more than baseball and basketball.

“He was a really good baseball pitcher, and of course being a left-handed pitcher, he had a natural advantage there,” said Mark Waldrop. “With his height, he has always been a very good basketball player too, but Rodge has always wanted to be a quarterback. That’s always been the number one thing with him. He loves being a quarterback.”

Destined for Greatness

It was around Rodge’s sixth and seventh grade years when his father and his coach began to notice that he was developing into a special football player.

“I know that [Boggs] first noticed Rodge earlier than I did, around the sixth grade,” Mark said. “For me, it was around the seventh and eighth grade that I could tell how good he was. He was throwing the football better than the other quarterbacks. I just noticed that he had God-given talent.”

As a freshman, Waldrop saw limited playing time, but he still put up solid numbers. The 2020 season saw him complete 25 of 70 passes for 377 yards and 2 touchdowns. The next year, as Rodge took over primary QB duties, he completed 215 of 427 passes for 3,172 yards and 32 TDs. But he also threw 19 interceptions that season, something he knew he would have to work on.

As a junior in 2022, Rodge completed 178 passes of 326 attempts for 3,190 yards and 36 TDs. Perhaps the most impressive stat was his turnovers, or lack thereof – his interception total fell drastically, from 19 to just 6.

In his recently completed senior season, Waldrop completed 246 of 416 pass attempts for 3,408 yards and 40 touchdowns – the most of any year of his Brookwood football career. He finished his career with staggering passing numbers: 10,147 yards and 110 touchdowns.

Rodge is considered a pro-style quarterback, which means he is more of a pocket passer who doesn’t run much. He relies instead on solid blocking by his offensive line to protect him, thus giving him more time to find the open receiver. It’s everything a college scout could want. Right?

Where are the College Recruiters?

With a 6-foot, 5-inch, 205-pound, left-handed quarterback putting up those kind of numbers, you would think the college scouts are lined up at the Waldrops’ door, waiting to sign the standout signal-caller.

So far, however (through early December 2023), only Samford University has made an offer, and Mike Waldrop said that’s only for a PWO (preferred walk-on) status. PWO means Rodge is offered a spot on the football team, but without the benefit of a scholarship. He can accept the offer, perhaps secure playing time right away, and possibly earn a scholarship if he makes a good enough impression on the coaching staff – but there are no guarantees.

Mike said coaches have told him that the transfer portal has hurt his son’s chances of receiving a scholarship offer already. The quarterback position, they said, is probably impacted by the portal the most.

“The college coaches have told us that quarterback is the hardest position to receive a scholarship offer since the transfer portal took effect,” Mike said.

Rodge’s head coach agreed.

“Recruiting has always been maddening, and it’s worse now than ever from the perspective of how it has negatively impacted high school prospects,” Boggs said. “I am convinced that 10 years ago, Rodge would have had 20 offers. I am shocked that he doesn’t have at least five right now.”

Coach Boggs added that Rodge still has a shot at getting signed by someone.

“It’s not over yet, as the portal will close and colleges will go back to recruiting high school guys to finish their recruiting class,” he said.

So stay tuned. Rodge Waldrop may yet get that well-deserved scholarship offer. He certainly has earned it.
Located in Thomasville, GA, Brookwood School is a private school for grades JK-12. Students benefit from a challenging academic program, fine and performing arts, competitive athletics, and a wide selection of extracurricular activities.