PBL football player Jake Rich signs letter of intent to play for McKendree University

PAXTON -- In a way, McKendree University felt like home for Paxton-Buckley-Loda senior Jake Rich.
Rich says he has family in Southern Illinois whom he thinks should be able to make the trip to Lebanon to watch him play for the NCAA Division II Bearcats.
"It's good to be by my family," Rich said. "It's kind of like a halfway point so my parents and my family can watch me."
The closeness to family was one of a few factors leading Rich to sign his letter of intent to play football for McKendree last Wednesday.
"I'm pretty excited to go. I've been wanting to go to college since I was a little kid," Rich said. I've been really wanting to go to McKendree for the last couple of years, so when they offered me, I jumped at the chance to take it."
During his visit to McKendree on Jan. 14, Rich said he was convinced by the Bearcats coach who recruited him.
"He was really honest and a really good guy," Rich said. "He made me feel like i was welcome."
After visiting McKendree, Rich declined visits from Augustana and MacMurray, which were scheduled for the following Friday and Saturday, respectively.
Rich will not be the only PBL player at McKendree. Along with T.J. Jones, who also signed his letter of intent to join the Bearcats on Wednesday, Rich will also be reunited with 2016 PBL graduate Jake Stevenson.
"He really just sold me on the place," Rich said.
Rich, who will major in athletic training at McKendree, had 39 tackles, including 10 for a loss of yards, and one sack during his senior season at PBL, helping the Panthers reach the second round of the IHSA Class 3A playoffs en route to being named to the first-team all-Sangamon Valley Conference.
"I'm going to miss being here," Rich said. "I made a lot of friends. I loved playing for coach (Jeff) Graham. He is a great coach. I'm just going to miss seeing them on Friday with the rest of the guys, but I'm excited, though, to move on to other things."
Categories (3):Prep Sports, Football, Sports


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