Peterson: Lease is almost up for Iowa State’s terrific trio of football-playing roomies

Randy Peterson
Des Moines Register
Roommates Breece Hall (28) and Brock Purdy celebrate a touchdown during last season's Big 12 Conference championship game.

AMES — There’s probably not one Ames residence that has as much athletic talent living in it than the one that houses three of Iowa State football’s best-evers.

Brock Purdy and Mike Rose were the first to form this bond that both say is unbreakable. Breece Hall was next.

That Brotherhood of Stars will last forever. Their current living arrangement, however, is about to end the way it should end –— with all three on top of their games.

There’s not a better running back in the Big 12 than Hall. You can make an argument for Purdy being the conference’s top quarterback, although most would side with Oklahoma’s Caleb Williams. You’ll not find a better Big 12 linebacker than Rose.

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What they’ve meant to Iowa State football since they arrived in Ames has been immeasurable. And for the last three years, all three have lived lives under the same roof.

What are the odds?

“It’s been really good for them,” coach Matt Campbell said after his weekly press conference Tuesday. “Honestly, all three of had great effects on each other.

“Breece is loose; Breece can have a good time with anybody. He’s got a smile on his face all the time, which I think at times has really helped Brock and Mike.

“Mike is even-keel. I think he’s helped Brock kind of settle out, when things have been tough. They’ve got a great relationship,

“Brock — his passion to be the best has rubbed off on and had a great impact on the other two.”

The roomies, from left Mike Rose, Breece Hall and Brock Purdy

Purdy and Rose have played in Alamo, Camping World and Fiesta bowls. Hall has Camping World and Fiesta on his eye-popping resume.

Together, they’ve been part of victories against mighty Oklahoma. They’ve owned the defecting Longhorns. The Cyclones are 23-10 with Rose and Purdy, including 17-7 with Hall over the past three seasons.

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They played in last season’s Big 12 championship game, and their 2021 path to that game continues during Saturday’s 2:30 p.m. game at Texas Tech.

Three players. Huge contributors to a program once considered the Big 12’s laughingstock. Living together.

“It’s always been fun coming back home from football or wherever we’ve been, just talking, hanging and being boys,” Purdy said Tuesday. “We‘re out there trying to lead this team, and then we’re able to come home and be real with each other — actually dive into each other’s relationships and grow together.”

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And it’s about to end. After Saturday, it’s at Oklahoma, then back home against TCU on Nov. 26, and then whatever postseason games follow.

“It’s been cool,” Rose said of sharing experiences among roomies. “We’re all a little different, but it’s good. We always can push each other, since we’re all doing stuff at such a high level.”

Brock Purdy plays a little Alicia Keys at his apartment

Purdy and Rose are seniors. It’ll be an upset if Hall, a junior, doesn’t enter the NFL draft whenever this season ends.

“It’s been fun to watch how those three have impacted each other — all in a really positive way,” Campbell said. “We’re really fortunate, because our really good players stand for everything that’s right about what our football program wants to be.

“Their character, how they go about their business, how they go to practice, how they take care of their bodies — all the little things it takes to be successful, our good players do that.”

And it’s all taken root while living under the same roof.

Who’s the best athlete of the three?

“I think we all would say it’s ourselves, but it’s probably Breece,” Rose said. “Me and Brock — we mess around with Breece, saying we had to work a little harder for what we got. We like to yank his chain about being super-naturally gifted, which he is, and we all are. It’s fun to give Breece crap about that.”

While Campbell has had players to his home, he’s never had the privilege of being at the Hall-Purdy-Rose abode.

“I can only imagine what it’d be like,” he said. “My guess is Breece has the music really loud, Brock’s yelling at him, and Mike’s got the kitchen a mess.”

That’s probably not too far off.

“It all comes on me,” Rose said. “I get a lot of (flak). Really, it’s all three of us, but I take the downfall for it.”

More:Could Chubba Purdy transfer to Iowa State? It's a long shot, his brother, Brock, says

So, who inherits the place? What happens after the Terrific Trio go their separate ways?

“Hopefully, some younger guys that are ready to take the reins,” Purdy said. “We’ve got prospects we still have to look at.”

Whoever moves into the three-bedroom, three-bath place — a high bar has been set.

Actually, the highest in Iowa State football history. 

Iowa State columnist Randy Peterson has been writing for the Des Moines Register for parts of six decades. Reach him at, 515-284-8132, and on Twitter at @RandyPete.