Eye-Opening Weekend for Funk in Madison

One of the few prospects on campus who held a Wisconsin scholarship offer, Damascus (MD) High athlete Jake Funk walked away from his weekend in Madison impressed with the school, the facilities, defensive coordinator Dave Aranda and much more.

How good of an athlete is Damascus (MD) High athlete Jake Funk? Not only does he have over a dozen scholarship offers, there is likely a dozen positions he could play and succeed at on the football field.

Funk is being recruited at a number of positions, as schools see him as a defensive back, running back or an inside linebacker. Some schools are recruiting him under the ‘athlete’ label and will figure out where to put him if he commits to their school.

Although he’s only played inside linebacker in youth football, Funk said he felt right at home taking on tailbacks at Wisconsin’s one-day high school camp Sunday.

“My first couple years of high school I was the smaller kid, so I didn’t play linebacker as much,” Funk told BadgerNation. “I’ve grown a little bit and fortunately enough I’ve been able to be a linebacker again. I know this coming year my coach is going to try to show me off more at linebacker.”

Measuring in a 5-11 and 199 pounds, Funk finished at 9-6 in the broad jump during the testing portion of the camp and felt he ran well in both the 40-yard dash and the shuttle.

“I thought I did real well on the one-on-one pass rushing when I went against the running backs,” said Funk. “One-on-one in pass coverage, it’s still weird doing it from the other side of the ball (he ran for almost 2,000 yards as the team’s tailback last season). I’m getting used to it. That’s definitely an area of improvement for me that I need to make.

“Another one is becoming more fluid with my motions. There are some times where I didn’t get things tight, trying to get separation when I don’t need to get separation. Just the little things.”

Wanting Funk at inside linebacker since they offered him in early May, defensive coordinator/inside linebacker coach Dave Aranda spent a good portion of time working with him throughout both the morning and afternoon session of camp.

“I really like Coach Aranda,” said Funk. “He’s so knowledgeable about the game and schemes. We visited (Saturday) and how he talked to me, you could really tell how he knows the game so well and the inside linebacker position so well. He did a great job coaching.”

In addition to camping with Wisconsin, Funk and his parents spend Saturday getting a full tour of the campus after arriving from Northwestern’s camp.

“The tour we got Saturday was eye opening,” said Funk. “It was great seeing the whole campus. Before we actually started a tour, we talked to people around the campus about the school. It’s all positive things. When we got on the tour, it became even more positive for me. The school is great, the campus is great and the facilities are great.”

Wisconsin remains Funk’s lone power five offer. He also has offers from Air Force, Army, Charlotte, Eastern Michigan, Harvard, Navy, Ohio, Old Dominion and Pennsylvania, to name a few. He will visit Stanford for a camp in approximately 10 days and says Northwestern may offer him at tailback after evaluating some other recruits at future camps.

“I’m trying to be patient with (the recruiting process),” said Funk. “I would like to take official visits. I would like to meet the players and see what they have to say about the program. You can see a whole different side when you are with the players than when you are with the coaches. Coaches can tell you anything they want to tell you. It’s different when you are with players.”

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