Rose reflecting on JR year

Kansas City (Mo.) Rockhurst linebacker Michael Rose has had a good year, but a truncated one. After missing grades for a quarter, he was suspended for six games. Rose took the time to improve his grades and put things in perspective. Now, he's coming on strong down the stretch and says there's no place like Nebraska.

Michael Rose and his team, Kansas City (Mo.) Rockhurst, are undefeated. Rockhurst has played 12 games so far, and is entering the third round of playoffs this coming weekend.

"We are still undefeated," Rose said. "We are two rounds into the playoffs. We played 10 regular season games and are 12-0 so far."

While Rockhurst is 12-0 Rose has only played in the last six games after being ruled academically ineligible to start the season. It was a bad quarter, not a failed class that led to Rose having to sit out.

"I missed six games because of academics. The thing at Rockhurst is that they are a private school and how their GPA qualification works is higher than at public schools," he said.

"Also, there is a number of failing grades that you can't have. I didn't have any failing grades that quarter, but my GPA for that quarter just happened to dip below 2.0."

The suspension was a low spot, but it's when people hit those low spots that allow them to gain some perspective. Rose realized better then than later, and it also made him value his time on the football field a little more.

"It was a big disappointment for me. I know that I wasn't doing well and I paid the price for it. I am at a 3.1 GPA now," Rose said. "It was something better for me to go through now than go off to Lincoln and do it then.

"It was tough. The separation between me and the team was tough. I couldn't even go into the locker room. It made me realize a lot about my self, the people that I associate with and my time on the football field. It put things in perspective."

Rose has played well for the half of the season that he has played. He isn't starting yest as he sits the first few plays then comes in. But he is a big part of the success that Rockhurst has enjoyed of late. This season, beyond the suspension, has lived up to Rose's expectations.

"Through six games, I have 40 tackles, an interception and a fumble recovery," said Rose. "I would have loved to play the first six games of the season, but I put myself in that predicament and I can't blame anyone but myself.

"Considering that I thought that the season has lived up to what I thought it would be. I have been doing my part on the field and also making plays. Our team is very talented so it's really up to me to just do my part and play at a high level."

Through the season Rose has been able to unofficially visit Nebraska two times. Rose remembers his first game in Lincoln and to him they have all been the same since that first experience except for one small thing.

"I have been up there twice. I was up there for the Texas game and the Missouri game. My first game in Lincoln was Baylor my freshman year. Nothing has really changed there with the atmosphere except people know who I am up there now.

"There is nothing like the atmosphere in Lincoln. I haven't been to any other school that even comes close to Lincoln. The fans are crazy about the Huskers.

"I also really like the new academic center that Nebraska built; it's crazy, and all of the other facilities at Nebraska. It's a place where I can win at the game of football and the game of life."

Rose has seen a team change in Lincoln. It started out as an offensive juggernaut with Taylor Martinez as the starting quarterback, but since his injury the defense has been relied on a little more. Rose has been impressed with the Nebraska defense.

"The defense has stepped up this year despite the offense being very explosive. They play well as a unit. Lavonte David is just having an amazing year and that's what we need at the linebacker position.

"As far as the "PESO" (defense) is concerned and moving to the Big Ten, I am not sure how big of a deal it is. Not a lot of teams in the Big Ten run the spread. I figure I will play the weak side spot and I think that I will be fine in their defense once I adjust to the speed to the game and get in the weight room."

Even though Rose is committed to Nebraska other teams continue to pursue him. Schools contact his coach, but he hasn't called any of them. Rose maintains that he's 100% to Nebraska. Nebraska was just the perfect fit for him.

"Ever since I committed to Nebraska I haven't taken a call or spoken with any other schools. My coach has got emails from schools saying that they would be willing to offer if I called them.

"My heart is really in Lincoln. I am 100% committed to Lincoln. I am getting some looks from some big time programs and my friends see my letters and ask why I am not considering them.

"For me it's really come down to the coaching and how you really fit into that town and that culture. I think that I really fit in well at Nebraska, in Lincoln and with the team. I just love Lincoln. I love the coaches and my relationship with all of them."


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