Trickle Down: Christensen Helps Others See Hawks

Defending a state title is at the top of the list for Jake Christensen. It's one of the reasons he committed early to. But Jake still has time to talk to his peers about Iowa, including some of the best prospects in the nation. After his record setting seven touchdown pass performance last week, Christensen's phone range. On the other end was a highly touted national player with congratulations, as well as wanting to know when Jake was going to visit Iowa, as he wanted to join him.

When Jake Christensen takes the field for Lockport Township, most of the fans are clad in Maroon and White.

However, this year there has been smatterings of black and gold popping up around the stadium, like the colors of an Iowa harvest.

Jake's father and former NFL quarterback Jeff Christensen has been noticing.

"Yes, no doubt I have seen that," Jeff said. "I saw about 10 people in Iowa clothes last week, and people that I talked with after the game told me that they had spoken to the Iowa fans and they had come out to specifically watch Jake. I think that is a testament to the loyalty of the Iowa fan base. When I was younger, that never happened."

Jeff played for Eastern Illinois University and later with the NFL's Browns, Bengals and Eagles.

"I know Jake really appreciates it and I think that his teammates do, too. I cooked dinner for the offensive linemen last night, and they are taking pride in taking care of Jake."

Christensen has been electric through the first two games of his senior season, as he tries to lead Lockport to a third straight Illinois Class 8 title, the largest in the Land of Lincoln.

Jake is 35 of 58 for 608 yards, 11 touchdowns and zero interceptions. He also has carried the ball nine times for 48 yards and one score.

In his last game against Bolingbrook, Christensen tied a state record with seven touchdown passes.

One of the players trying to stop Christensen that game was linebacker Ryan Bain, a player that Iowa has offered and is heavily recruiting.

The two had the chance to speak with one another after the game, and Jeff Christensen was nearby.

"Jake is a lot like me, very short and to the point, not a lot of rah-rah. Bain came up to Jake after the game last week and I was standing there and he was very gracious, said ‘Jake, great game. Wow.'" Christensen said. "Jake started laughing, and said ‘Don't worry about this game, let's get to the important stuff. Are you coming to Iowa, or not?' Ryan smiled and said there is a possibility and they made small talk."

"That is great to see. To me that is respect, when the game is over and after Ryan had chased Jake all night long and tackled him on several occasions on the field, to watch them have the ultimate respect for each other means a lot to me. It speaks to Ryan's character. I think I know talent, and Ryan is a very good football player. (Iowa head coach) Kirk Ferentz has built his program on character, and when Ryan came over the way he did, that sold me that he has his act together. He competes like a madman, but when the game is over, its over, and he was gracious in defeat>"

Another highly touted national player took notice of Christensen's record setting night and placed a call to Jake last Saturday.

"I was driving to watch a high school game after watching the Iowa game on TV," Jeff said, speaking about Iowa's season opening 39-7 win against Kent State. "Jake was already at the game, and my phone rang and it was Nyan Boateng and he wanted to talk to Jake."

"Jake called him back and Nyan said he had heard about Jake's seven touchdown passes and wanted to congratulate him and see when Jake was going to take his official visit to Iowa, because he would really like to visit Iowa then, too, and spend some time with Jake."

Jeff said that Jake plans to take his official visit to Iowa on October 16th when the Hawkeyes host Ohio State.

"I know that several Chicago kids are going to try to get there that day, if it works out for them," Jeff said. "I think Dan Doering, Dace Richardson, Anthony Moeaki and Ryan Bain are going to try to make it there for that one."

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