With the graduation of Mitch Ewald the Hoosiers have an opening at kicker and one candidate to take over the job is Jake Shake. The standout from Lafayette (IN) McCutcheon H.S. will be joining the Indiana program for the upcoming season after accepting an invited walk-on offer from head coach Kevin Wilson. The 6-foot-1, 180-pound kicker and punter spoke to Peegs.com about why he decided to accept the offer from IU.
Shake said that he had a couple scholarship offers from small schools and preferred walk-on offers from two Big Ten schools, but he chose the Hoosiers because he believes it is the best situation for him.
"I had scholarship offers from St. Francis and Marian and preferred walk-on offers from Wisconsin and Purdue," he said about his options for college. "I chose Indiana because of the opportunity I have there. The kicking spot is open there and I see an opportunity to get a scholarship my first year and hold onto it for the full four years. Coach Wilson said if I am the best guy and I earn the job then I have a great shot to earn a scholarship. He said everything is earned down there."
The Lafayette, Indiana native said the academics at IU and the direction of the football program were also factors in his decision.
"I have always dreamed about playing at the highest level and the coaching staff there is awesome," Shake said. "I have been talking to Coach (James) Patton for the most part and he is a great guy and so is Coach Wilson. The coaches sold me on the program and what they are trying to build there. The academic side of things was big as well. I want to major in nutrition and they have a good program for that."
Shake said that the Indiana staff has told him with Ewald leaving there is an opportunity for anyone to come in and win the job.
"They said there are kickers on the roster but that the job is open," he said. "They are excited that I am coming in because of how I did at the kicking camps I attended. I went down to Tennessee and won the kicking and punting competition and I went up to Wisconsin and won the kicking and punting up there."
Despite growing up in Purdue territory the talented kicker said he and his family really never rooted for the Boilermakers.
"I didn't really grow up a Purdue fan because my dad is a big Bob Knight fan," Shake said. "He would travel down for almost every home game when he was the coach there. Purdue was just there and we would go to some home games, but we were never really big fans of Purdue but we were always fans of Indiana."
Shake earned All-State honors from the Associated Press and the Indiana Football Coaches Association after his senior season at McCutcheon H.S. He said his range on field goals goes up to 60-yards.
"We finished 4-7 and made it to the second round of the sectional," he said. "I was 9-for-13 on field goals and I was around 81 percent rating on the season for touchbacks. The longest field I have ever made was in practice and it was 67-yards. I feel comfortable kicking at around 57-60 yards right now."
Shake said his parents and his older sister are thrilled about his decision to continue his kicking career at Indiana.
"My family is super excited about this," he said. "My sister goes to IUPUI and she is really excited about me going down to IU because she has friends down there. My parents and my sister will be able to go to every home game and many of the away games so that will be nice."
Shake is ranked the 56th best kicker nationally in the 2014 class by KohlsKicking.com and was given the following review by them:
Jake was a very impressive ball striker at the Midwest Showcase, he was put in pressure situations and thrived, he hit better when the pressure was on, made 9 of 10 FG during the charting phase and showed impressive range, he needs to show he can KO at a big-time level to move up in the rankings, if he can get his KO steps down he can move up in the rankings, made another 9 of 10 at the UC Challenge. Jake had a great overall showing at the 2013 Scholarship Camp. His KO's and Punts are currently ahead of his FG's. Jake has a huge leg and showed it by hitting multiple 70+ yard KO's, and hitting hang time in excess of 4.8 seconds in punts. His consistency with ball striking on FG's needs to continue to improve.