Jake Locker was destined for great things from the moment that he set foot on a football field. At least, that’s what everyone thought. Instead, after a slow start to his career, he walked away from the NFL and into a completely different career. The most surprising thing about Jake’s story is how happy he still is with his decision.
High School Was A Great Start For Jake
Jake Locker began making football waves in 2005 when he took Ferndale High School to a 14-0 winning streak and the state title. Parade gave him First-Team All-State honors, too.
He Was Sports Star Of The Year At College
His performances for the Washington Huskies at college led him to be named Male Sports Star of the Year by Seattle Sports. He graduated in 2010.
A Hot Prospect In The NFL Draft
Jake Locker wasn’t the top pick of 2010, but he was a big deal and was picked 8th overall in 2011. He inked a deal worth $12 million with the Tennessee Titans for 4 years.
A Checkered Time For The Titans
Things started okay for Locker at the Titans. His rookie season was undistinguished, but he was instrumental for them in his second season. Sadly, an injury would upset the next two years of his play.
He Walked Out In 2015
Jake Locker’s injuries meant that 2013 was a mixed year, and in 2014, he’d barely been seen at all. In 2015, he said that he was no longer interested in football and retired from the NFL.
This Wasn’t A Sudden Change Of Heart
Locker told Sports Illustrated that right from the moment he was drafted, he was losing interest. He says, “I was pretending with everybody because I wasn’t authentic with anybody.”
The Money And Fame Weren’t What He Wanted
Locker says he looked at his daughter in 2012 and he wanted to know how she would see him and his contribution to the world. He says that helped him understand football wasn’t his job, it was an addiction.
He Called His Dad And His Agent
When he knew it was time to walk away, he called his father and then his agent and told them he was going home. He felt his family and Jesus needed him more than the game did.
He Volunteers Now
Jake Locker is an active volunteer in his local faith-based community and church. He spends time with his family and football is all but forgotten.