Jake is also a part of the “Everything to Prove” series featured on NFL.com, a series that follows the transition of 14 collegiate players to the pro game. The 1st program can be found here, and the 2nd program can be found here.
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After a whirlwind last two months that has included a Holiday Bowl Victory, a Senior Bowl appearance and a Skills Competition the weekend of the SuperBowl, Jake will start a long weekend of participating in the NFL’s Combine.
The Combine–a collection of talented NFL hopefuls–is a large gathering of college players entering the NFL draft, an athletic audition in front of every NFL team that tests each player’s strength, speed and agility. And, for the quarterbacks, the Combine is an opportunity to throw in front of the NFL Scouts for the first time without a defense rushing towards them.
Often times, the high profile players will be instructed by their representatives to sit out certain drills that can be seen as a potential risky part of the audition. For Jake, he plans on partaking in the entire group of drills.
‘I am planning on coming in here and competing. I am going to go through all of the drills and show everyone what I am capable of,’ Jake said in an interview with the NFL Network . ‘I have prepared as well as I could. I feel really good coming into this. I feel very confident. I am going to go out and have fun and enjoy the process.”
Jake will be busy this weekend as Friday the players will weigh in and have their measurables taken, and teams will get an opportunity to talk to the players. On Sunday, the quarterbacks will go through all of the drills including the vertical jump, the 40 yard dash and the 3 cone drill. The event will be heavily attended by every NFL Team–from coaches to general managers to scouts–and additionally, all of the action can be seen live on the NFL Network.
While it is a year later than most pundits expected, Jake formally begins his quest for a football career at the next level today at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama.
Following an announcement that he would return to the University of Washington to play his senior year of football–surprising many in the media that predicted he would be a top pick in the ’10 NFL draft and reinvigorating a faithful Husky fan base–Jake and th U.W. football team experienced a season of highs and lows, a campaign that ended with a 4 game win streak and a signature Holiday Bowl victory against a highly ranked and talented Nebraska team. The perfect conclusion to a season filled with challenges and joy is now in the rearview mirror, and Jake is ready to make the long awaited move to the next level.
“If there’s a better job in the world than playing football and getting paid for it, I’ve never heard of it,” Jake told the Washington Post recently. “I’ve played it for free my whole life. And now, to have this dream manifest itself and come to a head here, it’s just an incredible opportunity. ”
While each snap and each throw has been scrutinized through this week’s Senior Bowl practices, the week long media debate on his professional potential is just a continuation of the microscope he has been under for 4 years. And, no matter the perceived pressure or the doubters of his decisions to date, Jake will embrace it as he has throughout his collegiate career: with an unabashed optimism and honesty.
“My policy is always to be honest. I have nothing to hide. I feel comfortable with the decisions I made and why I made them. I don’t expect them all to understand. They didn’t experience what I did, they didn’t go through what I did, they didn’t create the memories that I did.”
The game starts at 12:30 p.m. (pacific time) on the NFL Network.