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St. John's alum Roback at head of Eastern Michigan turnaround

07/26/2017, 3:15pm EDT
By By BRIAN BUCKEY BLADE SPORTS WRITER

Quarterback helped Eagles to bowl game in 2016


Eastern Michigan quarterback Brogan Roback, a St. John’s Jesuit graduate, split time last year but is expected to be the Eagles' starter this season. BLADE PHOTO

CANTON, Ohio — Eastern Michigan senior quarterback Brogan Roback said the turnaround from the 2015 season to last year for the Eagles was culture changing.

“Everyone on the campus is happy for you — teachers, family, alumni, everyone,” Roback said “It was awesome. Going to a bowl game and just seeing everyone so proud and those people with a lot of love for the school just be happy, it really brings out a lot of true fans.”

From 1-11 in 2015 to 7-6 in 2016, the Eagles experienced a dramatic resurgence of the program. For Roback, a St. John’s Jesuit graduate, it also coincided with his growth as a player.

Roback shared time last season with transfer Todd Porter and came on strong the last five games of the season after Porter suffered an injury.

“Last year was a learning experience,” Roback said. “I’ve had a few of those and I think that’s the one that put me over the top. Those tough times made me learn and they turned me into the player and the person I am now. Without that I don’t think that would have happened.”

After last year’s dream season for the Eagles, Roback is itching to get out on the field for his senior season.

“I’m taking this day by day,” Roback said. “I’m just excited to be back out there with my guys and I just want to play the game that I love and do it with them. I’m looking forward to getting back out there and competing.”

Roback was the first ever 4-star recruit to play for Eastern Michigan and has seen his share of ups and downs in his career.

“When I was coming out of high school, there was the whole 4-star thing,” Roback said. “I was a young kid and I thought I had it all and thought talent would get me by. I had to learn and grow. My game has come long way, by learning and developing and being around a lot of people with great minds.”

Eastern Michigan coach Chris Creighton immediately recognized Roback’s talent and now is counting on him to be a leader for the team.

“He’s always been super talented,” Creighton said. “He’s worked on his game, there’s no question, but he is super talented. I think like with everybody, you grow up a lot from 17 or 18 to 21 or 22. He has become the leader of our team. When you are playing as a freshman with all these older guys, anything you can contribute is awesome. I think at some point in the last year or so, it’s like ‘Okay wait, I’m that older guy. I’m that leader’. I’m excited for him.”

Contact Brian Buckey at bbuckey@theblade.com or 419-724-6110 or on Twitter @BrianBuckey.

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Tag(s): College  St. John's Jesuit  John Wagner