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While Tom Brady might not be the most popular man outside of New England and Tampa Bay, it’s impossible to argue with his resume. During his 20 seasons in the NFL, the quarterback has done more than most players can ever dream of accomplishing. But what’s the key to his success?

Thankfully, Brady’s college roommate was able to provide some insight into what makes the quarterback tick. Although he’s not the most athletic man to ever hit the gridiron, the quarterback is able to will his way to greatness.

Tom Brady didn’t always seem like a star quarterback

These days, it’s impossible to have a conversation about all-time greats without mentioning Tom Brady. The quarterback, however, didn’t always seem destined for stardom.

While Brady also showed potential as a baseball player, he decided that his future was on the gridiron and headed to the University of Michigan. His time in Ann Arbor didn’t start happily, though, as the quarterback found himself buried on the depth chart.

As a junior, Brady finally got his chance to claim the starting job. While his starts weren’t amazing—the quarterback threw for 4,644 yards and 30 touchdowns—he did show a knack for winning games and coming through in the clutch.

When the 2000 NFL draft rolled around, the New England Patriots selected Brady with the 200th overall pick. While no one expected much from the young quarterback, he took over the offense when Drew Bledsoe took a big hit from Mo Lewis. From there, the rest is history.

A crucial ability to turn frustration into success

For all of Tom Brady’s strengths, he’s not the biggest, strongest, or most athletic man in NFL history. The quarterback, however, has an incredible drive and will to win.

“In his sophomore and junior year, when he was second or third on the depth chart behind [Brian] Griese and [Scott] Dreisbach, he was still studying film at 10:30, 11 at night,” Pat Kratus, Brady’s roommate at Michigan, told Mike Reiss of ESPN. “He was frustrated with not playing, and that’s how he channeled it. If I beat him in a game of H-O-R-S-E, he’d drop-kick a basketball. There was a golf club or two that might have gotten thrown in anger. But for his own sanity, he would always turn those situations into hard work.”

Based on Brady’s career, it’s safe to assume Kratus is telling the truth. At Michigan, he worked his way into the starting job; in the NFL, he turned into one of the greatest quarterbacks that we’ve ever seen. Regardless of their talent level, no one six Super Bowl titles, three NFL MVP awards, and countless individual accolades without putting in the work behind the scenes.

Tom Brady will have a chance to prove his doubters wrong in Tampa Bay

If the key to Tom Brady’s success is turning frustration into motivation, then the rest of the NFL should be on notice. Despite his impeccable professional resume, the quarterback is still facing some questions about his ability to succeed.

Thanks to a difficult 2019 campaign, Brady’s stock has fallen. Some have speculated that Father Time has simply caught up to the quarterback; others believe that he will struggle without Bill Belichick by his side. It’s hard to imagine that those sentiments haven’t stung the NFL veteran’s pride. Based on Kratus’ insight, Brady will enter the 2020 season with something to prove.

At this point, we’ll just have to wait and see what happens. Betting against Tom Brady, however, has never been the best idea.

Stats courtesy of Sports-Reference