In the huddle with Purdue punter Joe Schopper | Bacon lover
By Mike Carmin, Lafayette Journal & Courier on 11/2/2018
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Bacon and punting. Two things Joe Schopper can't live without.
Let's welcome Schopper, a Cathedral graduate, into this week's edition of In the Huddle.
Since it is Halloween, growing up what was your favorite costume?
I was thinking about this the other day. I couldn’t think of any of them that were that memorable. I was never the creative type for stuff like that. You see online all these fantastic costumes that people think of. ‘How do you think of that?’ I don’t have any memorable ones. I want to say one year I was a cowboy but that’s nothing special.
I was never a big superhero kid. I wasn’t into that.
If you were to dress up as another teammate?
That’s a hard one. Let me think for a second. I think I would try to go as Spencer (Evans) just because I would actually have something to dress up as. I would have to go get some tattoo sleeves, grow my hair out a little bit or go get a wig. That would be the most fun and have the most character.
What about a costume for your position coach (Mark Tommerdahl)?
Another hard one. I don’t have a good answer. I have to sit down and think about it.
He's a big fan of Bob Seger and Bruce Springsteen
Would you attend a concert with him?
I’ve been to one concert in my life. They're called 2CELLOS. They play on regular cellos and electric cellos and do a lot of covers of songs. I took my girlfriend last January. That was a lot of fun. They do a lot of AC/DC covers and a lot of classical music. I recommend you look them up.
What made you attend this concert?
I listen to them when I study sometimes and she does too. I thought it would be a fun date idea. That was part of her Christmas present. We both enjoyed it.
What if you were not at Purdue?
I read Ben (Makowski's) last week and he said fishing somewhere. That sounds good. If I had access to money or unlimited funds, I would go out and buy a ranch somewhere in Montana and maintain that and work out there.
You came here for football but also for pharmacy. Where does the pharmacy interest come from?
I’ve always wanted to get into healthcare. I didn’t want to be a doctor. My dad and my oldest sisters are doctors and that was something I didn’t want to do. I wanted to be involved in the healthcare process and I did some research in high school and I thought pharmacy would fit me really well. So far, it has.
Who’s the G.O.A.T. on the team?
Ben. I know Jesse (Schmitt), our special teams quality control guy, played here and was a long snapper and he might disagree with me. It’s hard to beat a long snapper like Ben. For his position, he’s up in the talks of the Greatest of All Time here. You bring Markus (Bailey) and David (Blough) into the discussion.
One thing your teammates don’t know about you?
Maybe not all of them but most of them don’t know my first name is Mark. I don’t know if that is out there very much. I go by my middle name, Joseph.
As a punter how do you handle your pregame meal? Do you just load up?
If it’s an early game, we usually have one meal and that’s breakfast. Every week I get my cup of fruit and get some hash browns and a big bacon sandwich. I do not go light on the bacon. It’s just bacon and whole grain bread.
When you say big bacon, how many slices are we talking about?
All of it.
What’s ever in the pan?
I do enjoy bacon. That’s my go-to breakfast. Later in the day, if we have another meal, it’s usually just spaghetti. I usually don’t hold back. I’m not worried about getting a huge stomach out there.
Unless they call a trick play
At that point, you have to deal with it.
Jeff (Brohm) said there’s not a cool name for the fake field goal you ran against Ohio State. If you could give it a name, what would it be?
I’ve never thought about a trick play nickname before. The words they use usually have a meaning. How about – holder surprise.
How many more trick plays are left in your career?
I don’t know. I want to say a lot but it depends on the situation. I would like to run a lot more but it’s never guaranteed.
What’s the one thing you haven’t done from a trick play standpoint?
What would be special is to have me line up in shield – where Cole (Herdman) lines up in punt formation – but Cole lines up at punter. What would happen – a direct snap to me, Cole runs up and I hand it off to him and I keep going back and then we run the flea-flicker punt. After Cole tosses it back to me I punt it.
Is that an actual play?
No, but I think it would be fun.
Any pregame rituals?
The last several of weeks I’ve been wearing a certain pair of socks. Not right now but they are game day socks. Not during the game but before the game and I don’t want wear them on Fridays. I only wear them during the pregame stuff.
What color are they?
They’re brown and they have football laces on them.
Can people see them?
Usually, unless I’m wearing baggy sweatpants.
If you didn’t play football?
I wish I was good at golf. It’s an enjoyable sport. High-pressure situation and I enjoy pressure situations but at the same time very relaxing. That’s something you can carry on the rest of your life.
Three former Boilermakers you would invite to dinner?
You can’t go wrong with Drew Brees, Travis Dorsch and add Ryan Kerrigan as well.
How did people respond to your 74-yard punt (at Michigan State)?
It felt good off the foot. I got a lot of congrats on that. I finally broke my long-standing personal record from my freshman year in the first game I started. It’s been a long time coming. I would like to break it at least once or twice before the end of the season again.
Ten years from now you’re doing what?
Hopefully, working in a pharmacy related field and I would like to have a family and have a little piece of property. I’m not much of a neighborhood guy. I want to be out in the country.