BROOKINGS, S.D. (KELO) — SDSU senior linebacker Christian Rozeboom became the program’s all-time leading tackler in last month’s game against Illinois State.
Though Christian Rozeboom may have flown under the radar from some schools, South Dakota State saw all the potential in the Sioux Center native.
“When I worked with him live, his ability to change direction, and how physical he was, was the reason why we really wanted here,” Co-Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers Coach Jimmy Rogers said.
Before he ever played a down for the Jacks, Rozeboom’s path to greatness began in his redshirt season, where he learned from All-American T.J. Lally.
“I looked up to him, and just his leadership, and what he brought to the field as far as a vocal leader,” Rozeboom said.
And Jesse Bobbit
“He was a guy I could go to with all kinds of problems, any questions football-wise and otherwise,” Rozeboom said.
He began his career earning conference freshman of the year honors, and finishing runner-up for national freshman of the year, after recording 132 tackles in his breakout season.
“The coaches did a really good with just kind of taking it easy with me right away, and kind of easing me in. Not throwing everything right away. That helped me in the long run, just having confidence on the field,” Rozeboom said.
After racking up more than 100 tackles over the next three years, Rozeboom planted himself atop the Jackrabbit record book with 465 tackles and counting.
“I would challenge you to find any player in the country that plays as hard as he does throughout the course of the game. I think that is why he’s around the ball so much,” Rogers said.
That record is just part of his legacy at SDSU, as Christian will leave Brookings as 1 of just 3 Jackrabbits ever to serve as a three-time captain.
“He stands for everything that we talk about and more. I really think guys want to grow up to be like him. It sounds kind of funny, but those are the kinds of guys you want to follow,” Head Coach John Stiegelmeier said.
As his career winds down, Rozeboom is thankful to have been part of the ride.
“It’s been special just being a small piece that added to the puzzle, to become what we’ve become here,” Rozeboom said.
Rozeboom and the Jackrabbits will host Northern Iowa in the second round of the FCS Playoffs on Saturday. Kickoff is set for 1:00.