Doubting Jake Kumerow is a mistake

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Jan. 21, 2015 By Justin St. Peter

Jake Kumerow is no stranger to having to prove himself. From growing up with a dad that played in the NFL, to being a preferred walk-on for the University of Illinois Fighting Illini and becoming UW-Whitewater’s star wide receiver, proving himself should not be a problem.

This skill is extremely important as he attempts to make an NFL roster this fall. He received a chance to further showcase his talents in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl on Jan.17 in Carson, California.

While there, he received teaching from multiple former NFL players throughout the week in televised practices and saw action in the game itself. Kumerow was in the unique position of being the only Division III player in the game filled with D-I and D-II seniors.

He did not have a catch in the game, but he did have many throughout his career as a member of the Fighting Illini and the ’Hawks.

The 6’5” Kumerow began his career as a walk-on in 2011 with Illinois, where he caught three passes for fifteen yards.

Then, his whole football world came crashing down as Illinois demolished the program, firing everyone from the head coach down to the training staff to try and promote a culture of winning (presumably, I’m not sure how well that has worked).

For Kumerow, that meant trying to prove himself all over again. Instead, Kumerow headed to his sister, Cortney’s, school in UW-W in 2012.

After a solid season of 15 catches for 201 yards and three touchdowns, Kumerow had to prove that he deserved a bigger role in 2013. Boy, did he ever.

His monster season rang to the tune of 77 catches for 1,331 yards and 19 touchdowns. If you look back at those numbers, especially the touchdowns, they look something straight out of the NCAA football videogame.

Those numbers allowed Kumerow to be placed on the Reese’s Senior Bowl 2015 Watch List coming into his senior season.

Kumerow was on pace to shatter his junior year numbers, until he sprained his ankle in the game against UW-Oshkosh. He missed the final three games of the regular season and the first round of the playoffs.

Following the sprained ankle, Kumerow finished the season strong with eight catches for 130 yards and a touchdown in the Warhawks national championship victory against Mount Union University.

Kumerow was the second leading receiver on the team with 66 catches for 1,116 yards and 14 touchdowns in 11 games.

Kumerow also has strong bloodlines as scouts would say. His dad, Eric, was a linebacker at Ohio State University and was the Miami Dolphins first round pick in 1988.

Kumerow has many things going for his chances to be an NFL receiver, no matter how he gets there. If you give him a chance, he will prove he is a valuable commodity that NFL teams would salivate over.

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