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Gold and Black Illustrated, Vol 26, Digital 5

Gold and Black is a multi-platform media company that covers Purdue athletics like no one else.

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GOLD AND BLACK ILLUSTRATED OLUME 26, ISSUE 5 13 Ryan Kerrigan is staying busy this summer, although not by filming any movies — his starring role in the Sharknado sequel came last year — but by preparing for his sixth NFL season and being an influential presence at Purdue. The Washington Redskins linebacker was in West Lafayette for the April 15 groundbreaking of the new football performance complex. A member of the Leadership Circle, Kerrigan is one of the project's major donors, having given $250,000 in early Febru- ary. He'll also be back in West Lafayette May 6 for his annual golf outing, which supports the 12th Boiler scholarship fund and his Blitz for the Better foun- dation that provides support to seriously ill, special needs and physically challenged children through- out Washington. We caught up with him after the ground- breaking. Q. What does it mean to you to be a ma- jor part of this project? Kerrigan: "It means a lot to me to be a part of it. During my time here, the Student-Athlete Academic Center that Drew Brees and his wife Brittany funded, that was a big part of my development as a student-athlete. So for him make it in the NFL and still want to give back to the university, I wanted to do the same thing. Being part of this new project will hopefully help future teams and future athletes as they develop at Purdue." Q. This is an important piece toward getting Purdue going again, and that's pretty important to you. Kerrigan: "It's huge. No matter how many years removed you are from Purdue or from anywhere, your college team is still a point of pride. And I think I'm like any alumnus, we want to see Purdue foot- ball winning, we want to see us getting back to bowl games, winning bowl games, and I think building a performance center like this is a step in the right direction." Q. You know Purdue's history, and you see all these Super Bowl winners here now, from all different eras. Does it say something about what Purdue is capable of? Kerrigan: "Yeah, Purdue is a special place. You can see that as far back as when Bob Griese played here, that this place is very special to him. Keena Turner, Rosevelt Colvin, this is a special place. For all of us student-athletes who were fortunate enough to play here, the relationships you form, the people you meet, it's the whole college expe- rience." Q. Could you have imagined that you'd be in this position, able to donate large amounts of money to your alma mater? Kerrigan: "I've been very fortunate. God has definitely looked after me and it's an honor to be able to give back because so many people here have helped me along the way. So to be able to give back to Purdue in that way is the least I can do really." — As told to Kyle Charters Photo by Tom Campbell Boiler Index

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