There will be few more exciting times in the lives of Purdue's incoming freshmen football and basketball players than this summer, as they prepare to move on to college.
This spring and summer, GoldandBlack.com is catching up with those new Boilermakers to discuss it in our new "Entrance Interview" series.
The last of the football newcomers is defensive end Kingsley Ike, a native of Pflugerville, Texas.
Gold & Black: What's it like to be at Purdue now, be part of the team and be through training camp?
Ike: "It's different from high school. It's not quite what I expected. I expected it to be a little easier. But the toughness of it makes me a better football player and a better man; it makes me tougher so I can get through different parts of the day and different parts of my life. Overall, it's made me a better person."
Gold & Black: What has been more challenging than what you anticipated?
Ike: "In high school, it was just a couple hours a day then you go back home and do whatever. Now, it's an all-day thing: a bunch of meetings, a bunch of practices, bigger, stronger guys, more intense defenses. It's turned up compared to high school. It makes it tougher mentally and physically, but once you get through it you're better off."
Gold & Black: A lot of non-practice time, like meetings and things, that you don't really account for.
Ike: "Yeah, that's true."
Gold & Black: You're a big distance from home, what's that transition been like?
Ike: "Being away from home, I actually like it. I've been with my family for 18 years. That time is past and it's time to get on with my life. In order to be a man, you've got to learn to be on your own and be separate from your family. I don't rely on them any more and I haven't asked them for anything in nearly three or four months. It's helped me to not be so close. It's helped me be a better person and step up to the plate."
Gold & Black: Now, have you been here since June?
Ike: "I've been here since June. I had planned to come early when I first committed. Any school I committed to I was going to be there in the summer to get a feel for it and get the workouts in so I could get ready for camp."
Gold & Black: Did that help, coming here early?
Ike: "Oh yeah, definitely. Now, I'm in great conditioning compared to if I would have stayed at home, sat there playing video games and eating Cheetos. I also got to know the players, so when I first moved in I'm saying 'What's up?' to them and know them by name, playing around and joking with them. That's compared to if I just came in the day before and am lost and don't know where everything is on campus."
Gold & Black: Are you looking forward to school starting, and having that big college-like atmosphere?
Ike: "Yeah, I can't wait for that. We have Boiler Gold Rush coming in with thousands and thousands of freshmen. We can't wait to meet them all. Us freshman have been here 24 deep since for a while now, we want to see the rest of the campus get here. We haven't seen girls in a while, that'll be different than what we've been going through in camp."
Gold & Black: What sort of challenge will you face from a school or football point of view as a freshman?
Ike: "A challenge will probably be being able to balance education and athletics, being able to be a good football player and remember all your stunts and all the technique while being able to study full-time and get good grades to pass tests. So being able to balance the two will be a challenge for me, but I know I can get through it."
Gold & Black: What's your major?
Ike: "I'm majoring in business management."
Gold & Black: Is that something you've been interested in?
Ike: "At first I trying to major in engineering, but as I went through that it was a little too much math and science for me. I wanted to do something a little more toned down."
Gold & Black: What are your expectations for your freshman year?
Ike: "Freshman year, I was originally thinking I could be second string or something, but now when I think about it I feel like if I redshirted, I'd get a lot stronger and bigger and faster and could be better for next season. That'd be more of a realistic time to play, rather than coming in as a true freshman and having your mind blow. It's a big step from high school to college, so I feel like I'd be better prepared if I sat out a year. Redshirting is probably the way I'll go."
Gold & Black: Is that something you've had to wrap your mind around, the idea of sitting out a year?
Ike: "I've never had to sit out for anything when it came to football, but I've talked to the players and a lot of them have redshirted. It's only been a few that haven't, and even those who haven't they told me if they could go back in time, they'd redshirt also. They said redshirting is probably the most fun year of your life: you get to enjoy college, then after that when it's your time, you get ready for business."
Gold & Black: Will it be important during that time to get yourself ready to play next year?
Ike: "I want to get bigger and stronger and faster and I feel like with Coach (Duane) Carlisle, he'll get me ready for that. I can't weight for that."
Gold & Black: What's your weight now and what do you want to get to?
Ike: "I'm like 238 right now and I'm hoping by next fall when it comes around I'll be like in the 250s."
Gold & Black: Will your family be able to come up at all?
Ike: "My mom has talked to me about coming up. They're trying to see if they can come up for a game, maybe two, but it cost money and it's time, so we'll see what happens."
Gold & Black: Do they miss you?
Ike: "Yeah, I went down there once during the summer, just to say my final bye 'til December, but they're coping and getting along well. They have plenty of children back at home, so they've probably forgotten about me."
Gold & Black: Why No. 80?
Ike: "No. 80. When I was in high school, going into my sophomore year, we were looking for numbers to get and I had to think hard. Growing up I used to watch Alex Okafor, he's a defensive end for Texas and now is a preseason first team all-American, and his high school is right next to mine. I used to go the Pflugerville High School games, he was always my role model and he's wore No. 80, so I thought 'Hey, I can continue the legacy of No. 8 from Pflugerville, Texas.'"
Gold & Black: You have a very unique name. Is there any significance to Kingsley as a first name?
Ike: "Kingsley, well my parents are Nigerian, and Kingsley is a common name in Nigeria, so that's the name they came up with."
Gold & Black: Do you like it?
Ike: "I like it because it's unique. If you have David Smith, there's probably like 3,000 of them in this one town. So when you say Kingsley, everybody knows that one Kingsley. The only thing is that people get my last name and first name mixed up, because they could easily be reversed."
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