PECATONICA, Ill. (WTVO/WQRF)–No small-school football conference in the state of Illinois turns out more championship teams than the Northwest Upstate Illini Conference does. And none turns out as many Division One college players as the NUIC does. A young man who will be playing D-1 ball next year is DuPec’s Jake Anderson.
Anderson is the guy coming off the edge on DuPec’s defense chasing after quarterbacks and trying to disrupt play in the offensive backfield.
“I love being a pass rusher,” said Anderson at senior at Durand High School. “It’s just something in my brain I can just get to the quarterback. There’s not a whole lot of thought that needs to go into it. I know what move I’m going to work before I walk up to the line.”
Anderson has multiple moves, most of them taught to him by his father Corey.
“My dad is actually the defensive ends coach, and so we spent a lot of time in the offseason perfecting three to four moves.”
Anderson has been playing football for a long time going back to his junior tackle days with Winn-Du-Pec. That’s him on the right. He says junior tackle laid the foundation for him becoming the player that he is today.
“You develop a love for football, but you build relationships with, I mean in that picture I had Trenton, Hunter and Drake. They’re still some of my best friends and like what ten years later almost.”
“Defensively he is a beast man. He’s hard to block,” said DuPec head coach Tyler Hoffman. “He’s got a motor that goes. There was a particular play that happened on Friday night where they tried to run what we call Gat and Jake was in the backfield before I think the ball barely got handed off to the running back. Just his power and his speed makes him a tough matchup for just about any team in our conference.”
Brock Spack and the coaches at Illinois State saw that speed and power and offered Anderson a full scholarship. He has accepted their offer. Speed and power aren’t the only thing they noticed. A certain video on twitter also caught their attention.
“I posted a video of, me and couple buddies were in the back gym at our school, and I just dunked a basketball and he brought that up and he was like, ‘Yea we saw that, so we went and checked out your profile and stuff, saw some of your highlights and it blew up from there. I was like, ‘Alright. Cool!” (chuckles)
Anderson had a growth spirt after his sophomore year. He went from 6-2 180 pounds to 6-5 240. Lots of time in the weight room has also paid off.
“Our manager he’s a powerlifter and stuff and so we go every single night to “Anytime” (Fitness).
“He has a great work ethic,” said DuPec senior Trenton Taylor. “He loves going to the gym. He’s 100 percent committed.”
“He put himself together in the offseason both last year and now this year to get himself on a roll where teams know about him. There’s no doubt about it,” said Hoffman.