Varsity Preps

Jake Wilcox 2016 Spotlight

Offensive linemen are often the unsung heroes of a football team. They work hard to create big plays but receive very little glory.

But Hernando High (Hernando, MS) sophomore Jake Wilcox is making his presence felt and gaining attention from college coaches one pancake block at a time.

The versatile big man can play at any spot on the line and has already garnered interest from University of Louisiana-Lafayette, University of Alabama-Birmingham, Tulsa, Jacksonville State, Georgia Southern, Henderson State and Alcorn. He received his first offer from Northeast Mississippi Community College. A host of other schools are also in the hunt for Wilcox.

The 6’1, 290-pounder is strong and has great footwork, but Wilcox’s motor is what stands out the most about his skill set. He plays with high intensity and doesn’t stop until he hears the whistle, which results in plenty of success for his offense.

“You just have to have a relentless effort, no matter who is in front of you,” Wilcox said. “The guy you block may be 180 pounds or 280 pounds; you just gotta go. There’s only 48 minutes in a football game. If we can give it everything we got for 48 minutes, we can rest afterwards. That’s what our coaches always told us, so that’s what I do.”

Wilcox looks to impart that philosophy on the offensive line next season, as he will be the only returning starter to the unit. He will definitely be a player that his fellow linemen can look up to and learn from.

With two years left in high school, Wilcox has plenty of time to improve his game and become an even bigger name in the recruiting circuit. He mentioned University of Louisiana-Monroe, Georgia Tech and University of Central Arkansas as some of his early favorites.

“I really like Georgia Tech’s triple-option offense,” he said. “I like that Louisiana-Monroe has a balanced attack, plus I have a friend that goes there, and he says he loves it there. I also feel like I’d fit in good with Central Arkansas’ program. Their purple and silver turf is pretty cool, too.”

Several factors will play a role in where Wilcox decides to continue his college career. He said that he’d like to have a chance to play immediately and make an early impact. More importantly, program tradition will stand out the most.

“The success of the program will mean a lot to me,” he said. “If the program is doing well and going up, I’d definitely be interested because I want to become a graduate assistant one day. Plus, I want to have a strong, family bond with my teammates and coaches. That’s important to me.”

It’ll be a busy summer for Wilcox with plenty of camps to attend. So far, he plans to show his skills to coaches at Arkansas State, Jacksonville State, ULM, UCA and Memphis.

Wilcox adds undeniable talent to the 2016 class. He has a mentality and work ethic that can’t be taught and will be a name to look out for in the future.

“I love being a bulldozer out there,” Wilcox said. “You have to be powerful and not stop until the guy in front of you is on the ground. If our running backs are busting their butts to run as hard as they can, why shouldn’t I go all out to block for them until the whistle blows? That’s how I like to play.”

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