Jarek Smalley | Baker University | OT
Twitter: @jareksmalley | Instagram: @jarek_lee
Q: Tell us about your college career and what the recruiting process was like. Why did you choose _____________ (list your school)?
A: First I went to Juco at Garden City CC as a DE and made the team as a freshman, Put on the weight I needed and got moved to OT and was a back up still and got to start our bowl game my freshman year, was committed to the University of Kansas my sophomore year and midway through the season I dislocated my knee and missed the second half of the year and lost all of my scholarships and had to sit out two seasons to get back to where I needed to be and then wound up at Baker University thanks to Coach Thoren our now head coach for taking a chance on me and iv been here three years now but when I transferred in there were a bunch of issues with my transcripts from GCCC and because of that I was ruled ineligible by the NAIA and I could only practice for two years and finally was ruled eligible this past season and got the starting spot and in the 4th quarter of the first game I took a shot to the back of my knee and dislocated my patella and I missed 90% of the season and finished the last 4 games as a utility lineman. I chose Baker U over the couple of small D2’s that were willing to take me because it felt like home, I felt wanted and I loved the coaches.
Q: What would you consider to be your biggest accomplishment in your sports career so far?
A: I would probably say winning 3 straight conference championships here at Baker University, and also being invited to and participating in the HBCU Spirit of America Bowl and now this the National Scouting Combine and also having even the slightest chance of playing pro.
Q: What do you consider to be one of the more important things you learned from the coaching staff while playing at_____________ ( list your school)?
A: While being at Baker U. I learned that no matter how hard things get, no matter what life throws at you, don’t ever give and fight through it because there is always going to be something good that comes out of it, and to never stop working for what you want in life!
Q: What was your major and what are your plans if football doesn’t work out?
A: I am majoring in Recreation with an emphasis in coaching. If football doesn’t work out I plan on trying to get a GA job and get my masters and get my coaching career started.
Q: What would your current/past teammates say about you and your qualities?
A: That I am a team player, I am willing to help to the best of my abilities if something needs fixed, I like to have fun and joke around but be serious when its time to get to work. I am a really hard worker and I do everything in my power to be the best player I can be and try to get the best out of my teammates to help them succeed.
Q: What has been one of the most memorable plays of your career at any level?
A: I would say getting my first tackle as a freshman in Juco because if let me know that I was able to play at the next level.
Q: What has been your biggest challenge and how do you manage it?
A: Without a doubt working so hard to get eligible and get to where I needed to be to play just to end up started my first game this last year and get hurt at the end of the game. After rehabbing and working extremely hard to get back to where I needed to be to finish the season.
Q: If you could compare yourself to a pro athlete, who would that be and why?
A: I like to compare myself to Taylor Lewan, my attitude towards the game, and playing style.
Q: What is your biggest strength that you bring to a professional team and why should pro scouts consider you?
A: Not only am I a fairly large person, I have a lot of potential that just needs the right coaching, I will show up on time everyday ready to work harder than every person in the building and do everything I can to get better and help the organization win championships.
Q: Are you involved in mentoring, a charity or do you “give back”/”pay it forward” in your community?
A: This last winter break I volunteered most of my time at the Rec center where I grew up.
Q: How are you preparing for the 2020 National Scouting Combine and what are your goals?
A: I am currently training with my strength and conditioning coach former NY Jets long snapper Tanner Purdum and my goals are to get better numbers than I had at the HBCU Spirit of America Bowl and do everything I can to catch the eye of scouts and earn an opportunity at the next level.
Q: What would be your ultimate achievement?
A: To get a shot and the Next level and make the roster and take care of family and sure my newborn daughter has nothing to worry about.
Q: What do you enjoy doing when not playing football?
A: When I am not at school, work or training, I go home and spend time with my wife and my daughter.
Q: Who is or has been the most influential person in your life?
A: There isn’t just one person there are a few people who have played roles in my life that got me to where I am today. Jason Thoren, Josh Saunders, Marlee Burch, Merci Falaise, Oscar Rodriguez, Jared Powers, Allen Terrell, but most of all my grandparents and parents.
Q: What is something unique about you that people would find interesting?
A: To be honest I’m not really sure.