Freshman WR Jakes the real deal

Spend just a few minutes with Jordan Jakes, and odds are one word will pop up multiple times.


The incoming Indiana freshman wide receiver isn’t a fan of those who put up false pretenses, and he isn’t one to hide behind those himself.

It’s one of the primary reasons the 6-foot-5, 197-pound product of Stockbridge, Ga., is a Hoosier.

“I just liked the realness with Indiana,” said Jakes, whose final three were IU, Virginia and Michigan. “I’m not saying all the other schools weren’t real, I’m just saying Indiana was more realistic with me.”

But Jakes was also real with himself, which is why he transferred from Eagle’s Landing Christian Academy in McDonough, Ga. — where he won three straight state championships — to St. Frances Academy in Baltimore, Md., for his senior year of football.

St. Frances won the state championship and finished No. 4 in the national rankings at 10-0 with Jakes hauling in six touchdown receptions in six games to complete an unbeaten high school career.

“I just felt like it was the best move for me,” Jakes said. “The next step, going into college, St. Frances prepared me the most.

“St. Frances played a lot faster than the boys in Georgia, I’m going to be real with you. Really just made me be prepared for what I walked into at Indiana (this summer) with the player practices. I feel like it’s nothing new to me.”

What Jakes isn’t real sure of is who his quarterback will be this fall, but he doesn’t see the battle between Peyton Ramsey, Michael Penix and Jack Tuttle as a problem.

“I like all of (the quarterbacks),” he said. “All of them are really different but similar at the same time. I just want to see who’s going to win the job.”

And then, of course, Jakes has to find a way to win a job of his own against veterans such as Nick Westbrook, Donavan Hale, Whop Philyor and Ty Fryfogle, not to mention redshirt freshman Miles Marshall, also a tall target at 6-4.

“(I’m) just working my way on top,” Jakes said. “I know I have Hale and Westbrook on top of me, but I want to make my way up to that spot with them, starting as a true freshman.”

To that end, it’s been an educational summer, aided by the head start he got at St. Frances.

“The offense, it’s a little different (from high school), because of all the schemes and stuff, but I get the gist of it,” said Jakes, who lists Mike Evans and Julio Jones as his favorite NFL receivers. “I’m learning it right now.

“I want to improve upon my speed. I’m pretty fast, but I want to get better at it. I run really good routes and catch the ball in traffic well.”

While participating in this summer’s workouts, Jakes is also cutting through the style and finding out the substance of his new teammates.

“I”m getting to see who’s real and who’s not, getting to know the plays, getting to know the scheme of the offense,” he said. “I’ve got a good feel of what the speed is going to be and how hard people are going to go.”

And who has proven themselves to be real thus far?

“Whop Philyor,” Jakes says, then pauses before continuing, “and Donavan Hale — he’s real.

“… Nick (Westbrook) helps me the most with plays and stuff, learning them. Whop makes sure I keep my head on straight.”

Maybe that’s the product of Jakes’ high expectations for his freshman class.

“We can make a really big impact,” he said. “There’s going to be some upsets this year, I can guarantee that. I love this group, we’re like brothers.

“I feel like every freshman in our class can play, to be honest, so it’s going to be a great year for us.”

That may sound like a lot to ask, but as far as Jakes is concerned, he’s just keeping it real.


  1. It’s going to be pretty tough for Jakes to see the field this fall. He’s going to have to do something special in the summer on the daily to crack the lineup early.

  2. IU Basketball is fumbling around with “fantasy” this summer…IU Football is dribbling loudly with what’s “real.”
    Jeremy giving us the Hoosier version of Len Berman’s ‘Wild and Whacky World of Sports’…? And nobody got hurt!

  3. Jakes should see action this Fall, the question is it for four games or a regular in the rotation. I love the attitude our freshman class brings to this team. Some have the ability to be major players for IU right away and can provide the enthusiasm that young players have to go with the experience of the older players.

    Due to past disappointments it is hard to be overly optimistic about 2019 but there are reasons to believe things can turn around this year.

    1. Agreed with the attitude that this class is bringing in. And it’s good to see them actively recruiting on social media.

      I couldn’t find much tape on Jakes but from the short highlights I’ve seen, he seems like a Donovan Hale type of receiver. Not a burner but a big and physical jump ball type of WR. I think he’ll likely be a four game kid this year at most with what’s in front of him on the depth chart. Again, I’m basing it on the few highlights I’ve seen and the fact that he’s a summer enrollee.

      I 100% agree with your comment about past disappointments and it being hard to be overly optimistic about 2019. I know a couple of months ago I was looking at the schedule and thinking 5-7 was a strong possibility. The closer we get to kickoff, the more that Hoosier Fever starts to kick in and I start thinking 6-6 or 7-5. Man, it can be rough rooting for a team to finish 6-6 and consider it a success.

  4. Vesuvius 13 sensing a seismic shift in IU Football…? College football just felt an ant bump into its cleats…or lava springs eternal?

    1. H4H, will it be this season or next is the question. I sure hope it is this year but will take next year as long as IU moves up in the B1G.

  5. Attitude of freshmen has a threshold of positive vs negative.
    Example as I recall “the movement.”

  6. You should never say “the movement” when discussing IU Football…It’s redundant.

  7. This kid could be a really good player down the road. Seems to have great size and length with very good speed and hands. He made the camp highlight reels of a couple of cornerbacks who knocked the ball away from him. Probably just a lack of strength which the IU S&G program will correct in a hurry. Hopefully, he gets in 4 games and still redshirts this year.

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