Q&A: Senior wide receiver Jesse Kroll
Kroll enters sixth season at CMU as offensive leader
Senior wide receiver Jesse Kroll collected more catches (61) and receiving yards (866) than any other Chippewa in 2015. Central Michigan Life caught up with the Algoma, Wisconsin native after Tuesday’s spring practice.
You were listed as a senior last year. Why are you eligible for another year?
KROLL: I broke my arm my freshman year and it counted as a medical redshirt. Then, my third year I tore my ankle up and then I redshirted that year as well. Because they were both medically-related redshirts, that’s why I could get two of them.
If I wouldn’t have been injured for the first one and I’d have just regular redshirted as a freshman, I couldn’t have gotten the second one. But since there were two injuries, that’s why.
What are some of the biggest changes from when you started in this program in 2011 to where it is today?
I’ve gone through a few different wide receiver coaches. It’s really nice because we’ve had Coach (Mose) Rison for awhile now, so I’ve got to build a really good relationship with him, be comfortable in the same system for awhile and learn the ins and outs of the offense along with the other wide receivers.
You have about two months off in the offseason, does it feel like a long time or does it feel short?
It’s not really two months off. We like to take a little bit of time off and let our bodies heal up, but then as soon as we can we’re itching to get back out there and run routes. Usually it doesn’t take long until we get back on the field.
What was the highlight of your time off?
I just recently got engaged to my girlfriend, that’s definitely up there. I’d have to say that tops it. We just got engaged over spring break, we went to Colorado on a little vacation, so that’s pretty huge.
What’s your favorite and least favorite thing about spring practices?
Least favorite, you know you have to wait a long time until you play the game. The anticipation of that is like, you really want there to be a game around the corner. What’s kind of nice is, you still have a lot of time to improve, but the sense of urgency’s still got to be really high. This is a really great time to try to improve as a whole and improve individually.
With Coach Bonamego heading into his second year, do you see more confidence in him than last spring?
Yeah, I definitely think being in the system a little bit longer (makes it) more comfortable. He was going through a lot of really hard stuff last year. He didn’t show it to us that it was affecting him, but for any human being going through something that difficult, it’s going to take a toll on you. It’s really good to see him now. He has a ton of energy. It’s amazing that he was able to have as much energy as he did last year going through cancer, but now you can definitely see that he’s a fiery coach. His heart’s in it. He wants to be out here with us and he loves CMU.
Looking at the wide receiver corps, who are the players that are going to be the most dangerous next year?
I think the strong point as the wide receiver group is, we have a ton of depth. Corey Willis, Anthony Rice, Mark Chapman, Eric Cooper. And then we have some young guys stepping up — Brandon Childress — that we might see a little more of. We just brought in Austin Stewart, the basketball player. We have a lot of different dimensions and just a lot of talent.
For you, what are some specific goals you have entering your final season?
My number one goal is a (Mid-American Conference) Championship. Being here six years, I’ve come to realize how challenging and how rare that is. There really isn’t anything else except for a MAC Championship.