Jean-Daniel “JD” Roussel professional football player, currently playing for Green Bay Blizzard as a defensive back, in the IFL league.
- Born in Port Au Prince Haiti
- Moved to the US at the age of 3
- Raised in Pawtucket, Rhode Island
- High School Saint Raphael Academy
- College Sacred Heart University
- Bachelors degree in Marketing Master degree in Communications
- Raised by a single mother Marie Roussel
- Defensive Back Coach at Dean College in Franklin, Massachusetts
College and Pro football achievements:
- College Career
- 2013 AP All-American
- 2013 and 2014 NEC All-Conference
- 2013 and 2014 NEC Conference Champion
- All Time Leader in Interceptions- Game (3), Season (7), Career (17)
- Green Bay Packers 2015 Rookie Class
- Orlando Predators Tryout Summer 2015
- 2016 IFL Season : Billings Wolves & Green Bay Blizzard
- 2017: Green Bay Blizzard
Interview with JD:
- How long have you been playing?
I began playing football when I was in eighth grade, in 2006. I began at a later age as opposed to other kids who start at the age of 5 or 6. Growing up I was more into basketball, baseball or running track, sports that didn’t require much contact. My mom didn’t think that physical sports with a child of my size at that point was appropriate, so it took some convincing to do on my end to play football.
- What got you started?
I always loved football. I felt like it has a lot of moving pieces all coming together at one common goal. When I was growing up I watched football a lot and I understood the game pretty well but I was never allowed to play by my mom until I convinced her when I grew older. In my family they never played football so I had to find a way to convince them of playing.
- What is your biggest accomplishment in your sport?
So far, my biggest accomplishment was being invited to the campus by the Green Bay Packers. That came from a lot of hard work, a lot of dedication and putting my mind into building my body and my spirit up to what it had to be to know that I can be competitive and compete with the top players in the world. That was my greatest opportunity to show my talent to them.
- What one or two things do you currently do in your training that are keys to your success?
So a couple of things I do in my training is that I’m always making my last rep (repetition) my best rep. I pride myself in the last thing you do to make it the hardest thing you do because that is when you become more tired. I feel comfortable being tired, being fatigue it makes the point of the game when you become really tired, when you have less strength in your body and your mind. I tried to take every rep as it is my last one because you never know in life when the game will be taken from you, when anything will be taken from you. So I try to take advantage of every opportunity I have.
- What would be your ultimate achievement?
My ultimate achievement as a football player will be to get back into camp, continue to make to the team and win a Superbowl.
- What is your biggest challenge, and what do you do to manage this challenge?
My biggest challenge is staying healthy. Such a competitive and physical sport injuries happen, not only treating your body after the game but training your body well throughout the week. Making sure your diet and your nutrition is up to part and make sure that your body is at its best when it comes to game time.
- What was the best advice you were ever given?
So the best advice I was ever given as a football players was, no matter how high the highs are, no matter how low the lowes are but to continuing to play your hardest and you will be rewarded at the end. I heard this advice throughout the years coming from multiple coaches, all of them had their own way, adding a personal aspect to it. But besides football, I also implement this advice in my personal life. No matter how good or how bad things are going the show goes on. Continue to put your best foot forward, think positively and positive things will happen.
- Do you have a saying or motto that you live your life by?
Nothing specific. But if you know me you will know that I’m a hard working man. Nothing was given to me, I know that what I achieved and what I have I’ve worked for it.
- Where do you draw your inspiration from?
I drew my inspiration from doubt. Growing up, a lot of people told me that I couldn’t do something. Being from a small city in Rhode Island, they say that not a lot of athletes come out from here. Regarding my size, they used to tell me that I wasn’t big enough, also going to a small school, Sacred Heart, they told me I don’t play a lot and I don’t have enough competition. So just people doubting me growing up, always and until this days fills my tank. So I want to prove them wrong.
- Do you feel that you are representing the Haitian Community? How does it feel?
I feel that I’m representing the Haitian community very well. Both my degrees, my Bachelors and MS I finished them before I turned 24 so I consider this as another great accomplishment in my life so every time I meet a Haitian family and they know my story and everything I been through they feel inspired. So that’s what I do, make them feel inspired and create a path for the youth growing up.
- What’s your favorite Haitian food?
I have a lot of them! I love Soufflé de Maïs, bannann peze, pikliz, diri ak sos pwa, diri ak griot, macaroni au gratin. I don’t cook, but my mom and my grandmother they are the two best Haitian cooks I’ve ever had in my life.
- What’s your favorite thing about being a Haitian sportsman?
The favorite thing about being a Haitian sportsman is that there are not many of us. A lot of us get caught in the lifestyle, trying to make it out of Haiti and some of us deal with the wrong crowd. I’m very proud of where I’m from, what my nationality is, my skin color and of course, the culture I represent. You have to take pride of who you are.
- Do you have any advice for Haitian kids or Haitian descendants that are pursuing a career in sports?
The same advice I’ll give them is the same advice I give to any kid, never have doubt in yourself no matter what people say just continue to work hard and believe and achieve. Believe and you will achieve!
- Other personal information or experience you would like to share:
I would like to say that I’m a very family oriented kind of person. I love my family, I love to keep people around me. I respect loyalty so I’m a very loyal and respectful person.
Watch some Videos of JD: