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Gold and Black Illustrated, Vol 27, Digital 1

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Page 34 of 78

GOLD AND BLACK ILLUSTRATED VOLUME 27, ISSUE 1 35 bench press here — built over years. He never wastes a snap, getting every ounce of physicality he can muster into every block, every pass-setting punch. Calling Roos dirty may go a shade too far, but former O-line coach Jim Bridge called Roos tough "and a couple words that my mom would be upset with." The attitude, the strength, the toughness, they've been pivotal pieces to Roos' success. But they're the easiest ele- ments to see, too. The way Roos has blossomed as a leader can't be dis- counted. He earned a captain title this fall. The majority of those votes likely were cast by long-time teammates who have seen Roos toil to change his body — one of the most dramatic transformations of anyone on the team the last handful of years — and develop his game. "He kind of looks like a man possessed on game day with his beard and the eye black," quarterback David Blough said. "There's kind of an intimidation factor when you look at Jordan. When young (teammates) look at him, they're like, 'I'd follow that guy anywhere.' The older guys, too, but (the young ones) because maybe they're a little scared of him. But the older guys know the work he's put in. He talks about it every single time he gets to speak to the team. He was a kid if a coach gave him something to work on, he went home, worked on it and perfected it. He's not the most talented but has worked on his bench press, has worked on everything to get him to where he is. "He's got the credibility from hard work, and he brings that and he lets it out. That's kind of the inner Viking in him that people see. He's been an incredible leader for this team." BUILDING TOUGH Jordan Roos punched a classmate when he was in eighth grade, broke a finger on his right hand doing it. Problem, obviously. But especially because he was scheduled to compete in the district track meet, in the shot and discus, and he knew he wouldn't be able to miss it. Mom Judy wouldn't let him. Same as when he broke his foot during a football game earlier that year. He came to the sideline to have the athletic trainer look at it, and when the trainer couldn't say it definite- ly was broken, Mom was right there, telling her son to get back into the game. He played the second half. It was broken. So, despite the broken hand, Roos knew Mom would tell him to rig it up and compete. She did. He did. And he won both events, throwing the shot with three fingers because two were taped together and chucking the disc for a per- sonal-best despite barely being able to grip it. Dad wouldn't provide much sympathy, either. He's the one who coached his son in Pee Wee football, who woke up early to make sure Jordan attended 6 a.m. weight-lifting sessions in high school, who had his son throwing shot put from a chair to train despite a broken foot as a sophomore in high school, who devised a "blue- print" that was tacked in the garage with a blow-by-blow look at what needed to get done to maximize a track and football career, to reach the ultimate goal of college, even the NFL. By the time Jordan Roos got to Purdue, he didn't need coaxing. "I think it's those little incremental things that define you growing up. That's what I've kept ever since," said Roos, who tore an ACL as a senior in high school during football season but still won state in the shot and discus later that year. "I think some of it is (being) intrinsically motivated." So when Roos was getting ready for his first start as a redshirt freshman in 2013 against Nebraska, the fact he had a high ankle sprain didn't matter much. An injury that can knock players out for a month didn't keep Roos off the field at all. He started four consecutive games and six of the last seven of that season. He hasn't missed one since, ruling at Purdue's right guard spot for every game in 2014 and 2015. The same is expected this season, his last. "He has the ability to block out more pain than some other people can," dad Peter Roos said. "I've had a high ankle sprain, and it's very difficult to move around — (es- pecially) when you're trying to block guys that won't stand in front of you and let you block. You don't want the coach to see you getting whipped, so you've got to figure out how to kick it into another gear. He's probably on the tougher side than we probably know about. He's not going to miss a start. He's not going to let his teammates down. He's not going to miss a practice. He's not going to talk to somebody when he probably could and say, 'This is bothering me.' You find a way to work through it." That's not only as it relates to injuries.

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