[Host]: Hello, welcome to the ‘Between Classes’ podcast. This is Isabelle and today we have Christian Rozeboom joining us. He is going to tell us about what it is like to be a student-athelete here at SDSU and on the football team. So, Christian, thanks for being here. [Christian]: Yeah, thanks for having me. [Isabelle]: Do you just want to tell everyone maybe a little bit about yourself? Where you come from? Your major? [Christian]: Yeah, I’m Christian Rozeboom. I’m from Sioux Center, Iowa. Obviously on the football team and I’m an animal science major. I’m in my last year here. [Isabelle]: So, when did you start playing football? How long have you been playing and how far back does that really go?
[Christian]: Well I have two older brothers so I’ve pretty much been playing football since I can remember. I mean, its always been something that I have done and they’ve kind of taught me a lot of things growing up that I kind of use now. [Isabelle]: Did you play flag football? Where did it start? [Christian]: I think, we started a league when I was in fifth grade and that was fairly new for our town to have that. So, that was kind of a big deal. We had like one game a year and we thought it was the greatest thing ever. [Isabelle]: So then you played in high school, that was your next step. Was that kind of like a changing moment in your life where you realized this sport is going to be a lot more to your than just football? [Christian]: Yeah, I think so. I think it was just sports in general at that time. In Sioux Center, theres not much to do so we kind of just played all the sports that we could. So it’s kind of a year long thing and had a lot of fun doing that and have a lot of friendships still from all those sports that we’ve done. Throughout getting older, I kind of realized that football was one that was the most important to me.
[Isabelle]: What were some of the other sports then? [Christian]: I played basketball, baseball and I did track as well. [Isabelle]: Did you just excel more or just enjoy it more? [Christian]: I don’t know, I defiantly didn’t excel in basketball. That was my worst sport, by far. But, I think it was just the one that meant the most to me, kind of. Just from the relationships that I’ve gotten from it. Just the work that goes into it, I kind of fell in love with that. [Isabelle]: What does a typical week look like for you with football and class? Maybe this year might be a little different since its your senior year, but just in general, what does a day or a week look like for you? [Christian]: Well, I guess during the season, we usually have Sundays off, go in and get rehab if you need it, if you have any injuries, or what not. Then, Monday and Wednesday mornings we have lifting. Then, Mondays we just have meetings and guys will have class in between there, obviously. Then, practice will start. Tuesday through Friday we’ll have practice at about 2 p.m. until whenever we get done and then they have meals for us, which is super nice. Yeah, obviously, class is usually in the morning, scheduled for the morning during the Fall semester. Then, during the spring semester we have practice in the morning so usually afternoon classes for that time of year.
[Isabelle]: They make it work with school? [Christian]: Yeah
[Isabelle]: Leave you some time to schedule your classes.
[Christian]: Yep, no they actually do. They stress that a lot, thats in a lot of our announcements. Make sure you do this for your advisor meetings, make sure you do this for your finals, all that kind of stuff. [Isabelle]: So, with that, what are some of the ways that the football program supports its athletes academically? Maybe with tutoring or study hours. What are some of those things that they do? [Christian]: So, freshman year, every freshman has to do study hours by their self. I think its like 5 or 6 hours by themselves.
[Isabelle]: like a week? [Christian]: A week, yep. Then, we have study table twice a week for an hour and a half. So, 8 hours of just sitting down.
[Isabelle]: Oh jeez. [Christian]: Which, when I was in it my freshman year, I usually ran out of stuff to do. Which is good, I mean, at least you’re getting it done. Then, we have an advisor, a sports advisor, that really helps us with all our class problems and schedules and all the kind of stuff and she gets us set up with tutors if we need it, and all that kind of stuff.
[Isabelle]: It seems like they’re, you know, really focusing on that academic side of your not just an athlete but you’re also a student. [Christian]: Right, absolutely.
[Isabelle]: How do they log those hours when you’re, you know, either at study table or just study hours in general? [Christian]: Yeah, for study tables, it’s obviously, just attendance. Then, for your hours you have to go sign in with your coach because the coaches are there all day. So, you just go and tell them you are going to start your study hours. Then, you sign out with your coach after its done. [Isabelle]: The coaches are in the Dykhouse all day?
[Christian]: Yep. [Isabelle]: Oh jeez. Thats nice.
[Christian]: Yeah, so you just gotta sign in with them. It’s actually pretty strict.
[Isabelle]: It kind of seems like your coaches are there almost as much as maybe a professor, they’re always in their office or available to the athletes. What has that relationship been like for you with those coaches? [Christian]: No, I mean, coaches and player relationships are kind of, I mean its different for every coach and obviously every player. But, you spend a lot of time with them, you learn a lot from them. I mean hopefully they learn a little bit from you too, as a person and as a football player. I think our coaches do pretty well with that, making sure you excel on the field, in the classroom they make sure to check up on you and then as a person, too, they make sure that you’re doing well overall. [Isabelle]: So then, in what ways has football set you up for your future? I mean, hopefully it will continue on, but probably in some other ways too, you get more out of sports than just sports. So, what are some of those things that you know, you’ve really seen benefit you and that you’ll carry on into the next phase? [Christian]: Your platform really builds as you are here. Yeah, like you said, hopefully football continues for, I mean, for every single player here. But, for the majority, it’s not going to. Just having football help with your school, getting an education for a lot of guys that wouldn’t normally come to college its a pretty big deal. Then, just the connections that you get with other people and the experiences that you can put down on your resume. Any leadership that comes from it and I think that goes a long ways for employers. [Isabelle]: You have a busy schedule, but do they give you any free time? Do you get any time off? [Christian]: Yeah, we get free time. We just came off our bye week and we had Thursday morning practice. Then, we had all day Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday. So, that was nice. A lot of guys went home after classes got over. Yeah, so I mean there’s free time. This summer we had free time. We get the month of May off after finals. [Isabelle]: One month, one month to do whatever you want. [Christian]: Yeah, pretty much. I mean it’s what you signed up for. [Isabelle]: Right, right. So, is the off season just that one month? Or is there an off season? [Christian]: Usually we will get, depending how long we are playing, we will get off Christmas break. Then, once we come back to school, obviously, we’re going in and lifting and all that stuff. Then, after finals get over, then we will come back at the end of May for lifting and all that kind of stuff. [Isabelle]: So, still time to do other things and see family. [Christian]: Yeah, you get a fee weeks and a lot of guys go on their trips and stuff during May break. [Isabelle]: So, what other things do you do outside of football? [Christian]: When I do have free time, I do like to go home, see my family. They are not too far away which is nice. I go hunting and fishing quite a bit around here and then just hanging out with friends. Then, going golfing in the summer all that kind of stuff.
[Isabelle]: Yeah, I mean Brookings is the place for all of that.
[Christian]: Yeah [Isabelle]: It’s all in our backyard.
[Christian]: Yeah, exactly. [Isabelle]: Then, what are you looking forward to with the rest of season? We are, probably what, half-way through now? Theres still quite a bit left, but as a captain, are there any things that maybe with your team or just the games coming up that you are looking forward to? [Christian]: I think that just with conference play, it’s a big deal for us. Just to see how well we play against them. I mean, I know we will play well. But the true competition is our conference. We have a really good conference. So, just seeing how the guys step up for the occasion and just seeing how the season goes. I mean, you said half-way over, but we’re only a third of the way in with games but half the season is already over as a whole.
[Isabelle]: How does that make you feel? Because it is one of your lasts. You graduate in December? [Christian]: Yep
[Isabelle]: In December. So, you’re going through a bunch of lasts. How is that?
[Christian]: Yeah, it’s interesting. It feels like I’ve been here forever but it feels like I just got here at the same time. So yeah, it’s weird just thinking about this might be the last time I do this, or this. Not really relishing in those moments, just making the most of the opportunities that we have. When it’s over, it’s over and hopefully you can look back on it and know that you did
everything you could at it. [Isabelle]: So then, what are your plans after graduation? I mean, obviously, like you said earlier, hoping to continue football, but then what does that process look like if you want to continue football? [Christian]: Yeah, so I will go train hopefully after the season, wherever that will be. I’ll get out of South Dakota. That’s for sure. Not that I don’t like it here,
but I just need to get out for a little bit. [Isabelle]: Where would you train? Do you know?
[Christian]: Yeah, I’ve kind of reached out to some people in Arizona, Texas, and Colorado a little bit. It kind of depends on the agent process too. Picking an agent and getting setup with him. They’ll just kind of take care of that stuff for you, for the best fit for you. Yeah, then just all the things that go with that. There’s all-star games that you hopefully get invited to and different pro-days and combines and all that kind of stuff, if the opportunities arise. Then, the draft or getting signed by whoever and all that stuff. Then, for the beginning of summer you’re with a team, hopefully, and then you get a month off before you start training camp again. [Isabelle]: A lot of exciting
opportunities coming up for ya. [Christian]: Right, hopefully, yeah.
[Isabelle]: Hopefully. [Christian]: Yep
[Isabelle]: Well, I think a lot of people here are rooting for you. So, I hope that all of those things come true and that we get to see you continue to play. [Christian]: Yeah, I appreciate it.
[Isabelle]: So, I’m just going to ask you the last two questions that we ask each of our
guests. So, that first one is, what’s your favorite thing about SDSU?
[Christian]: Well, I think just the relationships that I have gotten from SDSU. I came here
and I knew a couple people from high school and I’ve stayed close with them, but the
ones that I’ve really grown with, obviously the ones that I had no idea who they were before I came to school here. So yeah, that is something that I’ll take forever is just the people that make up
this place and everything. [Isabelle]: Then, what is your favorite thing
about Brookings or the community? [Christian]: I would just say, yeah, the community itself. How they support the college. How they support athletics and football. It’s
just really good people. The small town feel is something that was important to me
even in my recruiting and all that stuff. It was something that really stood out to
me. Yeah, just again, the people. [Isabelle]: Yeah, I think you feel it like the moment you step on this campus. It is just contagious, the energy not only within students, but the community and how they support athletics and students in general. [Christian]: Yeah
[Isabelle]: Okay, well thanks for sharing and being on our podcast today and telling us all
about your football career and your life as a student athlete.
[Christian]: Yeah, thanks for having me.