A Project for Better Journalism chapter

Feature: Jake Ruppert

Every Friday night senior Jake Ruppert lines up on the front line to go to war with his teammates. Succeeding at defensive tackle is no easy task and it’s for sure not made for everyone. Ruppert says he takes great pride in stopping the opposing teams at all costs.

“It’s not something that I can take lightly, especially when playing in front of the home crowd,” Ruppert said.

Now, being a senior, he is well aware of how time as a Titan is winding down and he is trying to enjoy every single moment of it.

“He’s always talking about how lucky the younger guys are to have more time playing high school football,” senior guard and defensive end Carson Pate said.

Ruppert thinks of himself as more of a quiet leader who likes to let his action do all the talking. In the classroom, Ruppert is liked by all his peers and teachers. He doesn’t take anything lightly at all because he wants to be known as a student athlete, not just an athlete. When it’s time to hit the field Ruppert isn’t satisfied unless he feels he puts in 110% effort on the field. To him nothing is more important than effort. He says he was raised to always put full effort into everything he does from washing dishes to football games. What stands out about Ruppert is how he acts around his peers. When hanging around friends, he is one of the most down to earth people you will meet.

“When we’re off the field he’s a guy you always want around you no matter where you are,” senior center Jack Chauncey said.

When it comes to playing defensive tackle, Ruppert shared what was so good about that position.

“It’s just fun to try and see how I can matchup against other people, especially when times get tough,” Ruppert said.

The amount of work he has to put in is something he is now used to. Still, the morning practices are something he doesn’t look forward to, jokingly saying that he would rather just sleep until it’s 8:20. Senior Farid Nana-Yeboah describes Ruppert as “hardworking, always open to advice no matter if it’s harsh.” The only thing he wants to do is improve as a football player and as a human being. That’s why when he’s not on the field clashing helmets he’s always hanging out with his good friends. Ruppert tries to balance his school and social lifestyles so he can do enough of both to meet his needs. Being a senior, he wants to show the younger guys on the team that you should take the sport seriously no matter how much playing time they get. In the locker room, him and a group of other seniors try to set the tone for the whole team and make sure everyone is on the same page.

He wants people to know that his life doesn’t revolve around football. When asked about his future plans he says he might want to play football in college if presented the chance. He has many hobbies and interests outside of the academic and athletic world. Most people wouldn’t know this about Ruppert but he is one of the biggest 2 Chainz fan in the world and also loves listening to Gucci Mane. Ruppert says he knows he’s not the best player but knows that his work method is and always will be unmatched.