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Gold and Black Illustrated, Vol 27, 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 VOLUME 27, ISSUE 5 50 being in the NFL for a few years and being able to experience a few of my teammates' foundations, I wanted to get started on my own. I worked with a place called Prolanthropy out of Cincinnati, Ohio to help me start the foundation. I have a cousin who is autistic, so I wanted to be able to give back to special needs and physically challenged individuals. That's where the motivation came." Gold and Black: What have been the easy and more difficult aspects of growing a foundation? Kerrigan: "The easy part is the joy from the impact you can see. It always gives you validation to let you know you're doing a good thing and it makes you realize that the invest- ment put into it is definitely worth it. The hard part is making time to attend meetings and events pertaining to your foun- dation. I feel bad saying that is the hard part, but it is just part of the process of making the impact that you want to make." Gold and Black: Did you have some video game ex- perience growing up, and have you been able to play against some of the patients? Kerrigan: "I am not as much of a gamer as I used to be, and I have taken some major beatings when I go out on these events (laughing)." Gold and Black: What do you wish for your founda- tion to evolve in to in the future while keeping in mind that your profession may end up taking you to some other city? Kerrigan: "It is tough to do. Coming into the league in 2011 and seeing all the turnover with both players and staff members, it was kind of sobering. You envision this glamor- ous life when coming into the NFL, but for a lot of people, it really isn't. It can be a lot of moving around for players when you are signed one week, and then released the next. It's the unfortunate reality in this profession, and that's why I feel very fortunate. "I'll be going into my seventh year with the team that drafted me, and I hope I am here for the rest of my career be- cause I love it here. I have put down roots here and embraced the community, and it is a place I want to be." Gold and Black: You have been known to live a rela- tively frugal life, having a simple apartment despite the great career position you are in. Has anything changed on that front? Kerrigan: "Not too much. I have bought a home here, so I guess that is my big expense, but I still drive the same car that I had coming into the league (2011 Chevy Tahoe). I don't spend a lot or live a crazy life. I am very routine-oriented and my days are pretty much the same. And I like it that way be- cause I can focus on what I need to. Not too many elaborate purchases for me." Gold and Black: How are you from a health stand- point? Did you have recent surgery? Kerrigan: "Yes, I had recent arthroscopic surgery on my elbow in January. I hyperextended it a few times throughout the season and needed to get some loose bodies cleaned out. It feels good now, and I am glad I got it done. I need to keep working to keep motion in my arm and make sure I keep strengthening it." Gold and Black: It was last re-injured in December, right? Kerrigan: "I hurt it originally in Week 4 against Cleve- land, and then rehabbed it pretty well to the point where I wore a brace during the season and eventually was able to play without the brace. In Week 15, I re-injured the elbow, and at that point, I realized I need to wear the brace for good." Gold and Black: You had a chance to play in the play- offs in 2016 and another season before that. What do you need to do to get back there? Kerrigan: "It starts with the division, and you need to take care of your division before you can do anything. So make sure you get in the dance, and then once you get in the dance, anything can happen. I have been (in) two playoff games, but in both of those games we have had double-digit leads and not been able to hold on. For the first time since I have been here, we have put together back-to-back winning seasons. We didn't play like we needed to down the stretch last year and missed the playoffs, but we need to have a good offseason and win the division so that we can make the play- offs (again)." Gold and Black: After seven years in the league, what is the thing you look forward to most about playing? Kerrigan: "I would say just winning in front of your home crowd. Playing in some playoff games in front of your home crowd have been some of the neatest experiences I have had. In those games prior to it, when you can clinch it too (was also memorable). We did that against the Cowboys in Week 17 a few years back, and then in the 2015-2016 season when we clinched in the second-to-last game on the road in Philly, which was a de facto NFC East title game. Those are the kind of moments you live for, and that's what makes all the prior work worth it." Gold and Black: The Redskins fans have some of the best fans in the league by reputation. Is that true? Kerrigan: "It is. We have some of the best fans in the league, and they are very passionate. They love us. That's one of the reasons I have come to love the community so much here, is the passion they have for us and the entire

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