Jake Verity to Enter NFL Draft
Jake Verity first expected to make his return to East Carolina next year to play a sixth year before deciding recently to enter the NFL draft. He will soon settle on an agent and work to get stronger as he embarks on making it to the next level.
“Jake and I have been having some dialogue about his future for some time. Jake has done a lot of research and talked to a lot of people for making a final decision and I know it was a very tough one for him,” said Houston, “But at the same time he has had goals and aspirations that we can all understand based on his ability level to be able to kick in the National Football league.”
“We’re excited for Jake to make this decision public and start his preparations in anticipation for the NFL draft. I’m proud of him and proud of the way he represents ECU football I’m sure he’s going to do great things when he leaves us.”
The Bremen, Georgia product gave thanks to all of those involved with his development and for the opportunity to try to make it to the next level in the NFL.
“It’s been a really tough decision and I’ve put a lot of thought and research into the decision I’m making because the one thing that he told me was everyone only gets one shot at this," said Verity.
"One thing I’ve learned, especially at my position is that there are only 32 spots in the world. It comes down to timing and your ability. Based on the information I’ve gathered over the last month on my chance I have to play in the National Football League is that’s the decision I’ve decided to make. I’m going to pursue a career in the NFL this spring.”
It’s definitely been an emotional decision that I had to make. Obviously I didn’t have the season that I was planning on having. I’ve been here for five years, I’ve gotten my education, I’ve gotten information from a variety of sources that I see as reliable. My teammates are always very encouraging of the things my ability on the field and the things I’ve done on the field and off the field.”
He initially broke down his decision in an announcement on Twitter Monday morning.
"The time has come for me to hang up the purple jersey and pursue a professional football career by entering the 2021 NFL Draft. My time at East Carolina has been nothing short of a blessing,” Verity said, “Through the highs, the lows, and the sweat that I have poured into every facet of my life in Greenville, can say with confidence that I'm leaving this place as a better person and football player than I was when I arrived here in 2016.”
The All-American Athletic Conference selection and Lou Groza Watch List member harkened back to those who had an influence on him during his time in Greenville as a football player at East Carolina.
"I've met a number of people who have played a role in my success as a Pirate. To the people that have supported this team through the hard times, I thank you. Coach Mike Houston, this coaching staff, and the guys in our locker room are undoubtedly on the verge of producing the results we have all been working toward. I can speak for all of my teammates that we are tougher football players now than we have ever been,” said Verity.
"I will miss my teammates and my coaches. I will miss the locker room camaraderie. And more than anything, I will miss running out of the tunnel and through the purple haze on Saturdays. "I'm leaving here with a great education. I'm also leaving here proud to have been part of the process of returning ECU Football to its greatness. I will never forget where I came from.
He closed out his five-year career making 74-of-98 field goal attempts for a 75.5 percent accuracy rate (third all-time at ECU) and converted 130-of-133 extra point tries.
At the time of his announcement, he stood among the NCAA career active leaders (Top 5) in FG attempts per game (first/2.09), FGs made (first), points (fourth) and FGs made per game (fifth/1.57). Verity tallied 23 career multi-FG games, scored in double-digits on 17 occasions and kicked off 120 times for 7,333 yards (61.1 avg.) with 75 touchbacks.
During his senior campaign, Verity connected on 14-of-21 field goals and was 30-of-31 in PATs totaling 72 points. He earned AAC Specialist-of-the-Week and Lou Groza "Stars of the Week" accolades for the fourth time in his career following the USF contest where he contributed 14 points in the Pirates' 44-24 when setting the school career scoring record with 314 points.
Verity exits as ECU’s all time leader in points scored with 352 points on 74 field goals and 130 extra points. He owns the single-season record for field goal accuracy (90.5, 19-for-21 in 2018) and field goals made (24 in 2019).