His senior campaign earned him Sporting News All American honorable mention honors, USA Today All American honorable mention honors and Ist Team All Greater Houston Super Team honors (Rod's best friend and high school teammate Gerome Sapp, a safety, was a USA Today First Team All American and decided to attend Notre Dame. He would later play in the NFL for the Colts and the Ravens). Rod's stellar season also led him to be selected as a representative for Texas in the Shriners Classic Texas vs California All Star Game. After narrowing down his college choices to Texas, Florida State, Colorado, Texas A&M and Penn State; Rod decided to stay close to home and attend The University of Texas @ Austin. His commitment helped UT garner the nations top recruiting class in 1999, members of that 1999 class would include USA Today National Defensive and Offensive Players of the Year Cory Redding and Chris Simms.
As a freshman for the longhorns Rod would start only two games for the Longhorns, but he would get significant playing time as the nickel back. In 1999 Rod recorded 28 tackles, 3 sacks, 1 PBU and 2 tfl's. As a sophomore Rod would earn the starting corner spot alongside Quentin Jammer, together the physical combination of Quentin Jammer and Rod Babers would lead the Longhorns to the No.1 ranked pass defense in the nation. In 2000 Rod finished the season with 2 ints, 10 PBU's and 21 tackles. Rod's junior campaign would prove to be his best season yet, marked by the coaching upgrade of Duane Akina and a secondary that started 4 future NFL defensive backs (The 2001 Longhorn defense started 8 players that would play in the NFL).
In 2001 Rod Babers picked his play up significantly recording 40 tackles, 17 PBU's, 1 int, 1 blocked punt and 2 tfl's. He was also awarded the Big 12 Special Teams Player of the Week honors for his efforts in the 2001 Texas A&M game where he blocked a punt ( which marked his second consecutive game with a blocked punt), posted 3 solo tackles, 1 tfl and 2 PBU'S.
As a senior Rod would lead by example, leading a secondary that included future Thorpe Award winner Michael Huff and NFL Pro Bowler Nathan Vasher. As the leader of the longhorn secondary Rod Babers posted 46 tackles (32 solo), 3 tfl's, 1 forced fumble, 1 blocked fg, 1 blocked punt, 20 PBU's and 2 int's (one returned 73 yards for a touchdown against Oklahoma). His efforts helped the longhorn secondary hold opponents to a 43.3% completion percentage (lowest in the NCAA) and 4.76 yards per pass ( 3rd lowest in the NCAA) in 2002. The Longhorn defense finished 12th in the nation in total defense and 7th in the nation in scoring defense in 2002.
Rod's stellar senior year earned him Third Team All America honors with The Sporting News and Third Team All America Honors with the Associated Press; he was also awarded with First Team All Big 12 honors and Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week for his extraordinary efforts against Oklahoma St. in which he posted 4 tackles, 1 tfl, 2PBU's and 1 int ( his interception came in the last minutes of the game to stop a potential game winning drive by Oklahoma St.). Coach Mack Brown awarded Rod with the UT Outstanding Defensive Back Award (along with Nathan Vasher), he was also named a Jim Thorpe Award Semifinalist his senior year. During his career at The University of Texas Rod Babers started 38 consecutive games (40 total) recording 48 PBU's (4th on the UT single season PBU list, 2002), 5 interceptions (3 of those 5 have been returned for touchdowns), 135 tackles, 2 blocked punts, 1 blocked fg, 3 sacks and 7 tfl's.
His collegiate career would propel him to the next level where Rod Babers was drafted by the New York Giants 123rd overall in the 4th round. Shortly after the season began Rod was traded to the Detroit Lions where there was no shortage of familiar faces. His Detroit Lions teammates included Shaun Rogers, Cory Redding and Roy Williams. Due to a separated shoulder Rod would only play in three games in 2003 but he would get to start as a nickel back for Detroit when they came to Texas Stadium to play the Cowboys. Rod would fracture his collarbone in a preseason game during the 2004 season. Rod was released by the Lions that following 2005 season, and would later play for Tampa Bay ( Bucs, 2005), Denver (Broncos, 2005) and Chicago (Bears, 2005). After leaving the NFL, Rod headed north to play Canadian Football for the Hamilton TigerCats; he once again found himself around familiar faces with teammate and Lifetime Longhorn Kwame Cavil. Rod would only be a TigerCat for the 2006 season, then he would return to The University of Texas and acquire his bachelors degree in Education. After graduation Rod maintained an interest in sports, now through the sports entertainment industry. He briefly hosted Longhorn Sportscenter while a student in 2007, until he graduated and began his career as a sports talk radio personality with the AM 1300 THE ZONE family.