Seventh-Round Pick: Jeff Janis

Saginaw Valley State All-American Jeff Janis has an explosive separation burst, evident by his career average of 17.5 yards per reception. We have his story, including all of his school and NCAA records, plus his agility testing.

Jeff Janis

Wide Receiver
Saginaw Valley State University Cardinals
Tawas City, Michigan
Tawas Area High School


During his last two seasons, Janis did more than enough to prove that he is the best receiver in the nation below the major-college level. During the course of his junior and senior campaigns, he was twice named Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Offensive Back of the Year and selected Little All-American by the Associated Press.

Thanks to his impressive speed, size and power, Janis often created huge mismatches challenging the press coverage defenders. He is very physical working through traffic and his leg drive has allowed him to generate more than 60 percent of his receiving yardage after the catch. His ability to drive through arm tackles allowed him to record at least 14 touchdowns in each of his last three seasons.

Janis has an explosive separation burst, evident by his yards-per-catch average of 17.5 yards. His ability to uncover working underneath, along with his physicality combating for the ball saw him record 196 first downs among his 246 receptions, along with reaching the end zone for a school record 46 touchdown grabs, tied for 11th in the history of NCAA Division II football.

Janis enrolled at Saginaw Valley in 2009, spending the season as a redshirt performer on the scout team. He started the last six games of the 2010 schedule, picking up 130 yards on nine catches with a touchdown. In eight starting assignments as a sophomore, he had 48 catches for 968 yards, tying for third in school annals with fourteen touchdowns.

Janis had a breakout campaign as a junior. The All-American recorded the 11th-best season in Division II history with 106 receptions, which set the school record. He also set the Cardinal mark with 1,635 yards, the 10th-best season total in DII annals. His 17 touchdown catches are second-best in a season by a Cardinal.

Janis made nearly as much impact during his second All-American campaign as a senior. He paced the team with 83 receptions, second-best on the school annual chart, as his 1,572 yards gained is also second-best in a campaign by a Cardinal. He produced 14 touchdowns and gained 49 yards on four carries, adding 111 yards via kickoff returns for 1,692 all-purpose yards, second-best on the school season-record list.

Janis closed his career by playing in the 2014 Senior Bowl. Among active NCAA Division II players, he ranks fourth for receptions (246) and second for receiving yards (4,305). His 46 touchdown catches are second-best in that group and his 49 total scores placed seventh. He is 11th overall with 4,520 all-purpose yards and his average of 97.84 receiving yards per game rank fourth.


Janis started 37-of-44 games at Saginaw Valley, catching 246 passes for 4,305 yards (17.5 ypc) and 46 touchdowns…Scored three times on ten carries for 97 yards and returned seven kickoffs for 111 yards…Returned one punt for seven yards, as he recorded four tackles (3 solos), scored 294 points, tallied a total of 49 touchdowns and generated 4,520 all-purpose yards…NCAA Career-Record Results…Janis ranks 29th in the Division II ranks with 246 receptions and 12th with 4,305 receiving yards…His 46 touchdowns tied James Roe of Norfolk State (1992-95) for 11th on the NCAA list…Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Career-Record Results…Janis is second in league annals with 4,305 yards receiving, topped by Clarence Coleman of Ferris State (4,594; 1998-2001)…His 294 points scored are seventh-best in GLIAC annals…School Career Record Results…Janis holds the school records for receptions, receiving yards and touchdown catches, topping the old marks of 166 catches by Ric Cottengim (2004-07), 2,919 yards by Brian Dolph(1997-2000) and 39 touchdowns by Dolph…His average of 5.59 receptions per game shattered Cottengim's previous record of 4.15…Ranks third in school annals with 4,520 all-purpose yards, placing behind Charles Davis (5,609; 1993-96) and Kevin Mitchell (4,877; 1987-89, 91)…His 49 total touchdown topped Dolph's old school record of 43…Ranks second in Cardinals annals with 294 points, surpassed by Eric Houle (342; 2000-03).


Janis is the only player in school history to record at least 1,500 receiving yards in multiple seasons and record double-digit touchdown catches in consecutive years… NCAA Season-Record Results…His career-high 106 receptions in 2012 is tied for eleventh on the Division II annual record chart…His 1,635 yards receiving that season placed tenth and his average of 9.64 receptions per game as a junior rank 13th on the NCAA season-record list…GLIAC Season-Record Results…Holds the top two spots on the league chart with 1,635 yards receiving in 2012 and 1,572 yards in 2012…Also holds the league mark with 106 catches in 2012…School Season-Record Results…Holds the top two spots on the school record lists with 106 receptions for 1,635 yards in 2012 and 83 grabs for 1,572 yards in 2013…His 17 touchdown catches in 2012 placed second on the Cardinals chart, topped by 20 scoring grabs by Brian Dolph in 2000…Janis' 14 touchdown catches in both 2011 and 2013 occupy the third spot on that list…His 108 points scored in 2012 are fourth-best in school annals…His 1,692 all-purpose yards in 2013 are second and 1,650 in 2012 rank fourth on the school chart, topped by Charles Davis (1,711 in 1994), with Kevin Mitchell (1,657 in 1989) in third place.


GLIAC Game-Record Results…Janis' 18 receptions vs. Michigan Tech in 2012 tied the league record that was first set by Obadiah Dykes of Tiffin vs. Lake Erie in 2011…The league record for most net yards combined two players was recorded by Jeff Janis (300) and Mark Thrash(85) vs. Lake Erie in 2012 (385 yards)…His 331 yards receiving vs. Hillsdale in 2013 broke Janis' own school and GLIAC game-record of 300 yards from the 2012 Lake Erie clash.



The two-time Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Back of the Year added All-American first-team honors from The NFL Draft Report, Associated Press (third time a member of the AP team), American Football Coaches' Association Coaches and Daktronics…Named to the Daktronics All-Super Region IV first-team…The All-GLIAC first-team choice, Janis led the conference in every major receiving category aside from yards-per-catch, where he was second with a mark of 18.94 yards…Caught 83 passes for 1,572 yards and fourteen touchdowns, ranking fifth in the nation in receiving yards and seventh with an average of 6.92 receptions per game…Became just the second player in school history to be invited to play in the Senior Bowl, joining defensive end Lamar King, who was a participant in the 1999 Senior Bowl…Is also the fourth player from a GLIAC school to ever play in the game, joining King, Wayne State University running back Joique Bell (2010) and Grand Valley State University linebacker Brian Mulcahy (1987)…Helped lead the Cardinals to a 9-3 overall record and a 9-1 mark in league play in 2013 as SVSU won its third-straight GLIAC North Division championship…The Cardinals advanced to the NCAA Division II Playoffs for the third time in the past five years, where they fell in the opening round to national semifinalist Grand Valley State University…Scored on a 14-yard reverse vs. Northwest Missouri State in the season opener…In the Malone clash, he added a 37-yard scoring grab and 132 yards on three snatches…Pulled in eight balls for 124 yards and a 13-yard touchdown vs. Findlay…Gained 120 yards on five catches with a 44-yard score vs. Lake Erie and snared ten balls for 161 yards vs. Ferris State…Had a 25-yard score on a reverse and six catches for 89 yards and a 26-yard touchdown vs. Norwood…Scored on 18- and 38-yard catches, finishing with 139 yards on seven grabs vs. Wayne State…Set school and league records with 331 yards on fifteen receptions, scoring from 63, 6, 6 and 19 yards out vs. Hillsdale. Janis netted a school record-tying four touchdowns he now shares with two other players. He broke his own record of 300 yards that recorded last season at Lake Erie…Janis followed with 230 yards and another four touchdowns, including a school record 95-yarder, finishing with eight catchesvs. Northern Michigan… Pulled in ten passes for 122 yards vs. Grand Valley State.


Janis was named to the Associated Press Little All-America Squad and to The NFL Draft Report and Daktronics Division II Football All-American first-team...Honored as the GLIAC "Offensive Back of the Year" and was one of 24 candidates nominated for the annual Harlon Hill Award...Selected to the All-GLIAC first-team and the GLIAC All-Academic team, along with being chosen as the GLIAC "Offensive Player of the Week" four times during the season…Started all eleven games, setting school and league records with 106 receptions for 1,635 yards (15.42 ypc) and seventeen touchdowns…His average of 9.64 receptions per game rank 13th and his 106 grabs tied for 11th on the NCAA Division II season-record lists…Set a Saginaw Valley and GLIAC record with 300 receiving yards at Lake Erie…Broke the Cardinal and GLIAC single game mark for receptions with 18 vs. Michigan Tech…Hauled in the game-winning touchdown pass in the season finale vs. Grand Valley State…Caught a season-long 73-yard reception at Lake Erie.


Janis earned All-GLIAC honorable mention, starting eight of the eleven games he appeared in…Finished second on the team with 48 receptions for 968 yards (20.17 ypc) and fourteen touchdowns…Added 17 yards on two reverses…Recorded three games receiving for more than 100 yards, his season high being for 179 yards in a loss to Minnesota Duluth.


Janis earned a starting position in the team's final six games, playing in a total of ten contests…Rushed for 16 yards on three carries and had 130 yards off nine receptions (14.44 ypc), including one touchdown…Added seven yards on a punt return and 40 yards on two kickoff returns…Had his first career touchdown vs. Ashland…Helped lead the Cardinals to a 43-31 win over Michigan Tech, where he posted 48 reception yards and rushed for 11.


Janis redshirted after enrolling at the university.


Janis never missed any game time at Saginaw Valley, but did suffer a minor ankle sprain at practices leading up to the 2014 Senior Bowl.


4.42 in the 40-yard dash…1.55 10-yard dash…2.60 20-yard dash…3.98 20-yard shuttle… 6.64 three-cone drill…37 1/2-inch vertical jump…10'-3" broad jump…Bench pressed 225 pounds 20 times…32 1/2-inch arm length…9-inch hands…78 1/8-inch wingspan.

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