COLLEGE PARK, Md. — Senior running back Jake Funk says he was feeling better than 100% and was eager to lead this Terps team into the 2020 season when news came of the Big Ten canceling fall football.
Funk has torn his ACL twice in the last two years, most recently last September in a game against Temple, and fought so hard to get back to playing strength, that he believes he should be allowed to play.
“I was heartbroken," Funk said. "It was tough, because really I’ve been out for the last two years with injuries so it was tough for me, especially this year, I’ve put in a lot of time and a lot of effort especially during quarantine and it was just hard for me initially because it was just so much time and effort you put into something and it just gets taken away."
Head coach Mike Locksley knows how hard he has worked.
“As his coach, obviously knowing what he’s gone through injury-wise and knowing how hard he’s worked to get back to this position, I’m really disappointed for him but moving forward, this gives us more time to get him healthy and more time for him to fully recover," said Locksley. "Jake Funk is the type of player that will do what he needs to do to have himself prepared to play."
Jake feels healthy now but knows a few more months will only help his knee and his performance in the future.
“It gives me more time to just keep preparing and the biggest thing with ACL rehab is the more time you have, the stronger that ligament becomes so ultimately I’m looking at this as something that’s going to help me in the long term," Funk said.
Jake is still trying to wrap his head around what Saturdays this fall will feel like.
“I have not had a fall without football since I was six, seven years old. It’s going to be so different but at the end of the day, I think it’s a great opportunity to find some other hobbies and interests that you can pick up when ultimately football is over because at the end of the day you’re going to have to hang up the cleats at some point so hopefully I can pick up some kind of hobby. One of my teammates and I started trying to play guitar a little bit so that might be something I pick up, and I'll try to teach myself how to play guitar. But other than that, we will just try to figure something out. I’m going to have so much more time than I’m used to , and I’m not going to know what to do," says Funk.
Coach Locksley is hopefully the Terps will be playing football again this spring, and Jake says he will be ready and may even be an expert guitar player by then.