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A new cover story from Pete Thamel at Sports Illustrated focuses on UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen, a future No. 1 overall NFL draft pick who is trying to maintain the balance of being an all-star athlete and a regular college kid.
Rosen, who some experts believe would have been drafted No. 1 in the 2016 NFL Draft had he been eligible, has had his fair share of criticism since arriving on campus. There was, of course, the indoor hot tub incident, the “Fuck Trump” hat incident, and a number of smaller “immature” acts like arranging a neighbor’s lawn ornaments in sexually explicit positions.
Basically, this expose has proven that Rosen is basically like every other college kid in America. Of course, we’ve heard that excuse before, which is why it might terrify some NFL teams. Johnny Manziel was the last “regular college kid” playing football, and look where he ended up. It’s why the microscope might feel extra burdensome for Rosen.
From Sports Illustrated:
Since arriving at UCLA he has set off a social media firestorm over presidential politics, deleted at least one provocative Instagram post and been forced to apologize to the school. [Mora] is constantly asking Rosen whom he wants to be: Peyton Manning or Johnny Manziel?
“I’m not going to f‑‑‑‑‑‑ get in trouble for drugs or anything like that, but I don’t want to be this crystal-clean guy with perfect responses,” says Rosen. “I’m not going to pretend to be 50. I just want to be happy and enjoy the experiences I have and take advantage of every opportunity I’ve been given.”
It is also newsworthy, apparently, that Rosen has opted to live with his SAE brothers instead of living on-campus. Just read how decrepit his living situation is, according to Thamel. It’s like Thamel thinks Rosen is living in the slums of Rio or something:
Josh Rosen throws darts in the living room of his off-campus apartment, which is lit exclusively by white Christmas lights. He moved into the second-floor shanty this summer, joining teammates and SAE fraternity brothers Dylan Luther and Adam Searl. Rosen could have his choice of housing, but he’s picked this place with these guys—both walk-ons—in an effort to have a more typical college experience. The pad is an ode to Rosen’s moment before his moment, a quintessential collegiate cocoon in which he’ll complete his transition to what’s next—slowly.
The only house rule is posted on the wall: miss dartboard—must take a shot or shotgun a beer. A yellow SAE flag hangs on another wall, next to a 65-inch, 4K flat screen and above the instruments for Rock Band. Rosen’s decorative touch is the silver disco ball hanging in the corner. “Can you dry‑clean a couch?” Rosen asks between throws. “Like, it’s pretty disgusting.”
A shelf spans the width of the room, displaying 68 empty beer bottles, all different brands, from Stella to Rebel IPA to Pabst Blue Ribbon. Rosen says that because he moved in just a few weeks ago, he hasn’t added any empties to the shrine. Luther assures him that many taste buds had been sacrificed: “There were some really, really gross ones.”
Rosen considers playing Rock Band to put off a “binge studying” session, then extends his procrastination by pondering whether a dartboard can get too many holes in it and what Andrew Luck’s Stanford dorm room looked like. Looking around, he asks hopefully, “Is this the frattiest room you’ve ever been in?”
They drink beer? Not on my watch! Straight to rehab with him!
Rosen sounds like a pretty down-to-earth regular guy. So naturally, he will be brutally scrutinized for not adhering to certain arbitrary standards all big-time college quarterbacks are expected to follow. I can already see the headlines for this season flashing before my eyes:
“Josh Rosen Was Out Partying Two Nights Before A Game, Is He Focused?”
“Does Josh Rosen Care Enough About His Teammates To Curb His Partying Habits During The Season?”
“Josh Rosen Missed Curfew: Is This The Beginning Of The End For The UCLA Superstar?”
“Josh Rosen Said The F-Word, Does He Not Believe In God?”
If you want to read the whole feature, check it out here. It’s a pretty good read, especially if you are bored as hell at your internship right now.
Good luck to Rosen this year. You just know, whatever happens, the media is going to try and rip him to shreds..
[via Sports Illustrated]
Image via Instagram/@josh3rosen