LA GRANGE, Ill. — If you’re looking for someone to root for on Super Bowl Sunday, why not Western Springs very own Jake Elliott?
Elliott set the Eagles franchise record in September with a last second 61-yard game-winning field goal less than two weeks after he was signed off the Cincinnati Bengals practice squad.
The rookie sensation had an interesting road to the NFL.
He was the first kicker taken in the 2017 draft following a record-setting four-year run at Memphis.
But, Elliott might not have even played football, period, if not for a student kicking contest at Lyons Township’s homecoming pep rally his freshman year.
“You could tell right away, just coming out of the stands, that he was special.” explained LT head coach Kurt Weinberg. “You can hear the ball thud and watch it come off his foot and know he’s a unique and special talent.”
"We kind of said, 'Hey, if you ever want to play football, we'd love to have you.' Couple years later, as a junior, we were struggling in our kicking game to make extra points and field goals. One of our coaches said, 'You know, Jake Elliott's over there on the tennis court. You want me to go get him?' I said, 'Sure.' He brought him over and he just right away starting crushing the ball. Few weeks later at our homecoming game he kicked a 52-yard field goal to win the game for us. Then, the very next week he kicked a 47-yarder - both as time expired. If you wrote it as a fiction story, people wouldn't believe it."