Blue Valley High School senior quarterback Jake Wolff is one of the more under-the-radar players in Kansas. For one, he didn’t get a normal summer to showcase his talents like most quarterbacks need at college camps and the quarterback position itself is the hardest position to land offers at. His under-the-radar recruitment doesn’t change him from being one of the top returning quarterbacks in the state of Kansas though.
Wolff, who stands 6-foot-2 and weighs 210-pounds, enters his second year as a starter for the Blue Valley High School football program as a senior this fall. It’s been a program that has had some of the best high school quarterbacks in Kansas over the years. Wolff led BV to a 8-4 record last season while passing for 2,118 yards on 152 completions with 16 touchdowns in his first year as a starter. He also added five rushing touchdowns. He holds an FBS offer from Akron and multiple Division II offers as he enters his senior season for the Tigers. Wolff earned All-Non senior honors from SIK last season, honoring the top freshman, sophomore and junior players in the state annually.
It’s not uncommon for the Eastern Kansas League to have one-year or two-year starting player as the states best league is very hard to crack the depth charts at the states top-notch schools. To give you an idea, Graham Mertz transferred from Miege to Blue Valley North because he was Carter Putz backup, two of arguably the best quarterbacks in Kansas history. The Eastern Kansas league is loaded.
Wolff also gets it done in the weight room with a squat of 465, clean of 245 and bench press of 245 pounds. Very solid numbers for a quarterback entering his senior season. He is also very athletic with a 34-inch vertical Wolff has a very strong arm being tested as high as 59-MPH in velocity at a CFB Combine earlier this summer. Wolff also gets it done in the classroom with a 4.3 GPA and a 26 ACT.
Blue Valley, led by head coach Allen Terrell, has been one of the most consistent programs in the state over the last 30 years. The program has seen six state titles under Steve Rampy (4) and the late Eric Driskell (2). This season the be primed for another deep run as they return seven starters on offense and five on defense.
Blue Valley returns Chase Jans, Dorian Stephens, Tate Gillen, Sterling Lockett, Greyson Holbert and Josh Hanna who should be big names offensively Defensively Clayton Power and Sterling Smithson should lead the defensive line along with Hayden Essex and Michael Allen in the secondary. Jans has committed to play baseball at Kansas and is one of the top baseball recruits nationally. He could also hear his name called high next 2021 MLB Draft with a Perfect Game Grade of 10, which means high level draft pick/elite college player ranking. Nick Herzog is also expected to be one of the top juniors in the state and has recently blown up on the Division I radar. Blue Valley has four players with FBS offers including Wolff, Stephens, Locket and Herzog. Stephens has committed to Kansas State.
The program has produced so much talent over the years whether that’s back to the Brian Schottenheimer days of the early 90s, Zach Rampy winning a Simone on the way to leading Tigers to the title, Kyle Zimmerman leading the Tigers to a title on the way to defeating Bubba Starling in the semis, Clay Rhoades, A.J. Harris, Josh Koerkenmeier, Jason Siwft, Trey Hobson, Jason Parker, Cody Scribner, Ryan Heil, Ian Allen, Anthony Abenoja, Logan Brettell, Michael Maffry, Matthew Dercher, you name it they’ve had it plus much more. Not all the players are high level prospects though at Blue Valley and it’s the culture and atompshere on a Friday night that may separate programs like it and Derby from the rest of 6A’s in Kansas.
We caught up with the standout student-athlete below in the latest Q&A Edition of Faces in Kansas.
This update is powered by Blue Valley Touchdown Club, an annual supporter of coverage in Kansas with Sports in Kansas. Best of luck to the Tigers in 2020-2021!
Chet Kuplen, CEO/Founder of Sports in Kansas, on Blue Valley/Wolff
"First off, Blue Valley is an incredible program with incredible tradition. Maybe my most memorable moment was being down by the endzone when BV went for two to knock off SM East a few years ago under HC Eric Driskell. The atmosphere was outstanding. You don't always get that kind of atmosphere in a city but they have that at BV over the years under Rampy, Driskell and Terrell. They produce a lot of college players and I'm not talking just FBS/D1. THey have a lot of very good players in the MIAA and NAIA over the years. Heck the kid at Baker that played QB a few years ago was the National POY and the same year Zimmerman kid led Northwest Missouri to title. As far as what I have seen on Jake so far is that he's very under the radar and has a big-time arm. QB is a very tough spot to be recruited in and you really need a lot of these in-person camps to happen to turn the heads of the right person. He's sitting pretty solid though with an FBS offer and some D2 ones entering senior year. I think BV has a shot to be a championship contender this year. Have a ton of talent on the team and a lot of big-time weapons for Jake. EKL wont be easy though as everyone knows that. I really like that the SFL has made a lot of improvement recently too making it one heck of a gautnlet for 6A football playoffs."
Q&A w/ Wolff
How did you get involved in football?
My Dad played college football at Minnesota State, so I was naturally drawn to the sport from a very young age. I first started playing on a flag football team when I was in Kindergarten where I played running back and linebacker. I quickly switched to playing quarterback because I liked the pressure. Some of my teammates from that flag team are still my teammates today.
What are your goals this season?
Win the Kansas 6A State Championship.
Do you guys have a shot to make a run this year?
Yes, we are very capable of being the best team in the state. I believe the only team that can be us is ourselves.
What makes you such a force as a player?
I have the ability to understand and think the game of football in ways that most high school kids are unable to. I also combine that with the ability to make any and every throw on the field accurately. I can also be a very sneaky runner and have the ability the escape the pocket and make big plays out of nothing.
What’s the atmosphere like to play football on Friday night for your school and town?
Playing for the Blue Valley Tigers cannot be compared to playing for any other high school football team in the state. The strength of the community is the first thing that comes to mind when I think of Tiger football. Black and gold runs deep as the stands are filled by students, faculty, family, and alumni through all four quarters, every game of the season. The energy during the school day amplifies as the week progresses, tailgates start days before, the stadium is decorated, and the bleachers are packed. The atmosphere leading up to kickoff is untouchable and something I will never forget.
For anyone that hasn’t seen one of your games, why come to one?
Every year we have a strong, physical team that works together to be one of the most sought-after programs in the history of the state. This year’s team in particular is electrifying in all aspects of the game. At any moment, there can be a huge play whether that be a long touchdown, a big turnover, or an explosive punt/kick return. Our love for the game and each other will shine through it all as you will be able to see what football means to every single one of us.
Who are other key players on your team?
Offensively, Chase Jans can do it all out of the backfield. Our receiving core, led by Dorian Stephens, is very versatile and included other names like Tate Gillen, Sterling Lockett, Greyson Holbert, and Josh Hanna. Defensively, we will also have game changers all over the field. The box will be stacked with Clayton Power and Sterling Smithson followed by a strong secondary which includes Hayden Essex and Michael Allen.
Favorite thing about football?
My favorite thing outside of building an unbreakable bond with my teammates is the pressure from all around you. Though at times playing the quarterback position can be very lonely, everyone else on the field is relying one you to execute your job perfectly. While that can be said for every position on the field, it is heightened for the quarterback because of the leadership role that comes with it.
Do you play any other sports, tell us about that, what other positions do you play?
I also play basketball but was unable to play last year due to a turf toe injury, which has healed up very nicely.
What is it like to play for your coach?
Coach Terrell creates a loving yet intense environment that strives to push every single player in the program to be the best football player they can be, but also more importantly, the best young man they can be.
What did you and the team do in the off-season to become better?
Despite the restrictions as a result of COVID-19, we have found ways to become stronger and faster while following guidelines, but still being a team. Each position groups has been getting together for months to work out and get ready for the season, all of which is senior led.
What interest are you seeing at the next level and what are your plans?
I have a lot of interest from Power 5 schools, FBS independents, FCS, and Ivy League. My plan is to find a school the bests fits me where I can further my academics while playing football at a high level. I would like to study either business, law, or sports medicine. I have not decided which specifically.
Favorite thing to do when you aren’t playing sports?
Football activities often take up a lot of my time year-round. When I am not doing something related to football, I enjoy spending time with my friends, watching movies, and playing golf.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Hopefully, I will be playing in the NFL as I have always dreamed of doing so ever since I was very young. If not, I plan to have gotten a college education that will set me up to become the most successful person in which ever field I decide to enter.
Favorite subject in school, what type of student are you, GPA?
My favorite subject in school is history because I find it most entertaining as I like to look at the patterns throughout history. I am a very good student and put a lot of effort into my studies because I find it very important. My sister, a sophomore at TCU, is also a very good student which pushes me to do so as well. I have a 4.3 weighted GPA and 3.9 unweighted GPA.
Who is your role model?
My direct role models are my Dad and my Grandpa. My Dad has shown me the work ethic I need to be successful and, alongside my Mom, has raised me to become a good young man. My Grandpa shows me what it means to be a caring and loving person through daily life. My football role model is Aaron Rodgers. I have watched hours and hours to study how he has become successful with his craft.
Best place to eat in your town or the surrounding area?
KC is known for its BBQ so naturally I am a big BBQ fan. Although, my favorite place to get BBQ is Arthur Bryant’s, which is surprised to a lot of KC natives.
One thing the average person wouldn’t know about you.
I hate losing so naturally I am super competitive in anything I do. I want to win no matter what the task, game, or challenge may be.
Anything else to add?
Though my journey is just beginning, I would like to thank everyone who has helped me in any way possible throughout my life. I am very lucky to have to opportunities I have, and I know that nothing I have done or will do could be done by myself.
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