Jake Schermer: An Unlikely Jayhawk

Sept. 9, 2009


The path that led Jake Schermer into a Jayhawk uniform is an unlikely one. The senior linebacker, who grew up in the heart of Missouri, was not even considering The University of Kansas as his recruitment process started rolling.

“I missed a day of school to go to a St. Louis Cardinals game my junior year of high school,” said Schermer, who is majoring in marketing. “When I came back the next day, my coach told me that I missed a KU recruiter who came in. I got a chance to go to a one-day senior camp at KU, and I guess that Coach Mangino liked what I was doing because he offered me a scholarship on the spot.

“I loved Lawrence, but I was still unsure until I came on an unofficial visit in 2004 when Kansas played K-State, and that was when I knew I had to come here.”

As soon as Schermer arrived on campus the learning process began.

“When I first came to Kansas Nick Reid, Banks Floodman and Kevin Kane were all seniors,” said Schermer, who lists hunting and fishing among his hobbies. “I learned off of them, and those are three of the best linebackers I have ever seen play.”

The next three years were full of hard work and the right attitude on the practice field as well as the scout team. In 2007 in recognition of his hard work Schermer won KU Scout Team Offensive Player of the Week Honors vs. Southeastern Louisiana.

Schermer also played a pivotal role on KU special teams, as he has recorded 32 career tackles while backing up a NFL caliber linebacking core.

With all three of last year’s starting linebackers lost to graduation, one would think that this is Schermer’s golden opportunity, his time to shine as both a fifth year senior who has paid his dues, and leader of a young and inexperienced linebacking corp.

Although he most likely would not object to a pivotal role at the center of the Kansas defense, the team first attitude that Schermer has displayed his whole career has not diminished one bit.

“I want to do whatever I can to help the team,” said Schermer, who lists Troy Aikman as his favorite athlete. “That is my personal goal. To be the best I can be in my last year, to make as many plays as I can and to make the most of any opportunity that I get.”

As the 2009 season begins keep an eye out for number 58, because the hardworking, passionate, team-first attitude toward football makes Schermer the kind of guy you want your kids to model their game after.

When this most unlikely of Jayhawks was asked to sum up his tenure at the University of Kansas, arguably one of the most successful in school history, he worded it perfectly.

“I am just glad to be a part of Kansas football,” said Schermer. “It has been an honor just to be here to tell you the truth. I love KU. This is one of the greatest places I have ever been in my life. I call this place home.”