From Damascus to Super Bowl Champion, Rams RB Jake Funk Is Living The Dream – CBS Baltimore

BALTIMORE (WJZ) – From Damascus High School to Super Bowl Champion, Jake Funk is living the dream.

WJZ’s Rick Ritter got his chance to catch up with the Los Angeles Rams Rookie Running Back just hours after confetti fell at SoFi Stadium and the Rams were lifting the Lombardi trophy.

“It’s a dream come true. It’s a title I’ve dreamed of since I was a kid,” Funk told Ritter. to be on the field when I won was unbelievable. To be honest, I didn’t even know we were playing in the Super Bowl until I stepped out onto the field. It was such an unreal experience and I’m trying to soak in it all because it could be a once in a lifetime opportunity.”

ALEXANDRIA, VA- December 8:
Washington Post’s Best Offensive Soccer Player Damascus high school students are chasing Jake Funk. Photo taken on December 8, 2015. (Photo by Toni L. Sandys / The Washington Post via Getty Images)

It’s not all celebration and confetti for Funk. Let’s go back and talk about how the 24-year-old and the Maryland native got to this point.

Despite being named Maryland Gatorade’s 2015 Player of the Year at Damascus High, winning two statewide picks and scoring 7 (7) touchdowns in his senior year’s state championship game, Funk was not interested by the Division School for a while. In fact, Maryland & Wisconsin were the only major programs that offered him scholarships. After Maryland suggested, Funk jumped at the opportunity to play at his home.

The final Funk was the first commitment for Mike Locksley, who was then interim head coach. When the time came for his versatile comeback in his Junior & Senior year, both seasons ended with a tattered ACL.

His Redshirt senior year was a golden opportunity for him to follow his dream and make an impact big enough to not only stay on the field for Terps but also catch the eye of NFL scouts.

“Being underemployed is very difficult. Not many schools think I can play back in block D1. I can’t tell you why but not many people think I can do it,” Funk said. “Coach Locksley really believed in me from the get-go. I am extremely grateful for that.”

During COVID’s shortened season, Funk finished with 516 yards and 3 rush touchdowns, while also catching 10 68-yard passes and 1 touchdown. All of that, in just 4 games, including the game day against Minnesota when it totaled over 250 yards and 2 touchdowns.

After shining on his professional day in Maryland, Funk went from being expected to be underwhelming to a possible mid-round pick. In the end, it was Sean McVay and the Los Angeles Rams who took Funk’s chance, picking him with the 233rd pick in the 7th round.

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COLLEGE PARK, MD – SEPTEMBER 07: Jake Funk #34 of the Maryland Terrapins celebrates during the game against Syracuse Orange at Maryland Stadium on September 7, 2019 in College Park, Maryland. (Photo by G Fiume / Maryland Terrapins / Getty Images)

Back then WJZ spoke with Funk, who credits his work ethic, support system and Coach Mike Locksley for helping him join the NFL team. That, along with Sean McVay & the Rams staff, for giving him a chance.

His agent Sam Sankovich and the team at Steinberg Sports and Entertainment also see potential in Funk.

“Jake had perseverance, vision, talent and a work ethic right from college. He will always succeed. He’s just benefited so much and continues to take advantage of his access to the right tools and opportunities that come his way,” said Sankovich, NFL representative & Executive Vice President of Football at Steinberg Sports & Entertainment. know.

Funk made a big enough impression in training camp to make it to the Rams’ 53-man roster. Most of the 2021-2022 season, he mainly serves as a special player for the Rams. He finished with 2 carries in the off-season and another 2 in the post-season.

“To be on the pitch and to be able to do everything I can to contribute to this team has been my goal from day one. I don’t care if it’s Rerun or Special Team. I just want to get on the pitch and help this team win football games,” Funk said. “Winning is the number one priority and winning one of these (Super Bowl) will make the memories last forever.”

Despite winning the Super Bowl as a rookie, Funk remains as humble as ever.

“I really feel blessed, I am spoiled. I’m entering my freshman year and this is my first year. We have guys on my team and they’ve been in the league for a decade and they’ve only made it to the knockout stages for the first time,” Funk said. “It gives me perspective on the real achievement of being in the Super Bowl.”

Funk lightened the mood for the team, as they watched Matthew Stafford and offense get a chance to take the lead late into the game.

“Whenever Matthew and our attack get the ball, they have complete confidence that they can come down and score. Funk said. “He and Coop have been doing it all year and they continue to do it when it matters most. Coop had a bad year and if not one of the best years for the Wide Receiver in league-wide history. ”

Right after Aaron Donald fired Joe Burrow to essentially end the game, Funk said it all just came down to him.

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INDIANAPOLIS, IN – SEPTEMBER 19: Jake Funk #34 of the Los Angeles Rams is seen before the game against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium on September 19, 2021 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Michael Hickey / Getty Images)

“I cried, I cried. It’s really everything you dreamed of as a child. You work so hard in this sport, in that moment and not many people get there, obviously,” Funk said. “Everything has led me to this point. It gave me a completely different perspective. You realize how far you’ve come in such a short amount of time, it’s something I can’t even put into words. ”

“For me, the whole world can see him not only fulfilling his lifelong dream of showcasing his talent at the highest level in the NFL and being a season-round contributor on the field (with both group RB and ST) but also achieve a dream that only a few can imagine and touch, winning Lombardi. Sankovich said.

“I just thank God every day because he has blessed me over the past few years,” Funk said. “After so many years of losing, I feel like I’ve finally won.”

His story plays out like a sports movie, with a perfect ending. It’s one of those things that many people across Maryland have been watching all year. Something that inspires athletes around the world.

“What is your message to every kid following you and your journey?” Ritter asked Funk.

“Dream big and never give up. You have to be able to dream big and work with it persistently. Even if no one is watching or no one is giving you the time of day, you have to believe in yourself and keep doing the things you need to do to be great,” replied Funk.

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Jake Funk with Vince Lombardi Trophy. Courtesy, Jake Funk

“Your mind is a powerful thing,” he continued. “You have to picture yourself where you want to be. For many years in college when I was injured, I had planned in my head how the draft process would play out. How will I receive the manuscript. I couldn’t predict that I would win the Super Bowl, but I had a plan in mind. It’s incredible when you see the things you envision in your head and finally control the thoughts in your brain and focus on what you want to do in life. When you have that strength in your mind and a restless attitude, good things will come to you. ”

https://baltimore.cbslocal.com/2022/02/18/from-damascus-to-super-bowl-champion-rams-rb-jake-funk-is-living-the-dream/ From Damascus to Super Bowl Champion, Rams RB Jake Funk Is Living The Dream – CBS Baltimore

Jake Nichol

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