From Mascot to D-I Football Player in One Year

"New year, new me."

It's a phrase uttered by tons of people every year in early January. However, only a fraction of those people follow through with the claim -- Pitt's walk-on kicker Ian Troost knows all about real transformation.

In the span of one year, Troost went from suiting up as Pitt's mascot Roc the Panther to actually making the team he used to cheer on.

What's even more amazing is that Troost didn't play organized football until his senior year in high school. "People have been telling me all the time, 'You're not going to walk onto a (Division I) football team," Troost told Seacoast Online. "I just try to get better every day. That's my whole goal right now."

Body transformations, quitting vices, and saving money are all changes that require sacrifice, but making a Division I football team is a whole other story. In the aforementioned challenges you're essentially battling yourself, in the latter, you're competing with athletes from all over the country for a roster post. According to the NCAA, only 6.8% of high school football players will go on to make a college team's roster.

Salute to Troost for taking the mask off -- literally - and making his collegiate athlete dream come true.

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