"Jake is arguably the most athletic linebacker and special teams player in the Ivy League." Tim Murphy, The Thomas Stephenson Family Head Coach for Harvard Football.
Q: What is your concentration?
Football... and Economics
Q: What do you hope to do in life once football is finished?
I hope to be happy first and foremost. How? This is a question on everyone's mind at this age and some know better than others. For me, I think what will make me happy is building something that I can be proud of putting my name on. This could include a piece of furniture, a garden, a business, a meal I cook, etc. I do not know for sure at this point, but I am sure it will involve continuing to challenge myself in a wide range of fields. But to put it simply, I'll quote Rick Blaine from Casablanca by answering "I never make plans that far ahead."
Q: What is the best thing about being from your hometown?
This is a very tough question due to the fact that Cincinnati is such a great place to call home. We have a unique culture, which is highlighted by Cincinnatians' relationship to Graeter's Ice Cream, Goetta, Pete Rose, etc. But looking back, I would say that the youth athletics in Cincy are what makes it such a special place in my heart. There is nowhere in the country with a more concentrated level of talent or a more competitive sports environment than in the four all-boys Catholic schools that comprise the GCL. There is so much passion and tradition that I completely forgot to dream of playing somewhere in college because I was too consumed as a child with the dream of playing at Elder High School in "the Pit," the best place to watch high school football in the world.
Q: What's your favorite Harvard team to watch as a fan?
I like to watch the offense and specifically the offensive line. I know this is not a separate sport, but it is a different unit. Some people may not realize this, but we really don't see much of what is happening on that side of the ball during the game. I like to catch up on how they perform, which starts up front with a very talented o-line. It is very enjoyable to see how aggressive and physical they are on Saturdays because they are a great unit.
Q: What are the hardest parts of being a student-athlete at Harvard?
The hardest part of being an athlete at Harvard is spending less than $500 per semester at Chipotle. The convenience of the store location, along with the irresistibility of the product's flavor provides a great excuse to not speed walk back to the Currier D-hall in the Quad before it closes after practice.
Q: What's the best part about a home football day?
The best part of a home game is getting to see my parents after the game and spending time with them rather than a quick chat before a bus ride. My parents have made the trip from Cincinnati for every game since I have been here, which means a lot to me because even after four years, I still miss home and having them around makes it easier to be away.
Q: Who has the best nickname on the team and why?
Adam Redmond has the best on the team in my mind because it is a testament to his dedication and discipline both as a football player and as an excellent student. He is known as "Adam-Bot," a badge he wears with pride. He truly is a machine.
Q: If you could have dinner with three people, dead or alive, who would they be?
George Harrison, Ludwig von Mises and Murray Rothbard
Q: If you weren't playing football, you would be…
Playing baseball until I could not lift my arm up over my head.
Q: How has playing football at Harvard better prepared you for life?
The most rewarding aspect of Harvard football is being treated like a mortal while playing football in college. I say this facetiously because of the current state of major football programs. Of course, it would be nice to have gear on demand, an arcade, or a barbershop in our facility, but then the Harvard football experience would not be as valuable as it is. I feel that being treated modestly as an athlete in our program and in our school has allowed me to mature at a rate and to a degree that would not be possible if I were anywhere else. I have been confronted with great challenges that have forced me grow in my approach to adversity and accept a greater level of responsibility for my choices and actions.
Q: Of your teammates, who is most likely to 1) become President of the United States, 2) be a star of a reality TV show, 3) join the circus, 4) fall off the face of the earth? Why?
1) Due to the nature of the state and my respect for my teammates, I will refrain from placing any of my teammates in this position; 2) Jimmy Meyer because I see him being in his natural habitat on one of those MTV shows; 3) Chase Guillory would join the circus as a trapeze artist and be really good at it due to his build; 4) Paul Stanton would unintentionally fall off the face of the earth because at some point he would probably get too lost to find his way back.
Q: Choose one of each: The song you are most proud of, and least proud of, on your iPod.
Most: Careless Whisper by George Michael.
Least: none, I am very comfortable with my taste in music.
Q: What is your favorite Murphy-ism (quote/saying that Coach Murphy is known for)?
Anytime Coach Murphy brings up adversity training or embracing any form of adversity, it provides fuel to my burning desire to compete.