WCHS grad Jergens a first-team academic All-American
Drake defensive lineman carries 3.98 GPA
The 2016 WCHS graduate still has his long, curly locks. He’s still impressive on the football field. And he’s still smart as a whip.
Now a fourth-year student at Drake University in Des Moines and redshirt junior on the Bulldogs’ football team, Jergens was named a Division I academic first-team All-American by the College of Sports Information Directors of America earlier this week.
“The award is nice because it represents all of the hard work I’ve put in since my freshman year,” Jergens said. “Getting to this point and having a solid GPA, it exemplifies all of that hard work.”
With a 3.98 grade point average, Jergens will receive his undergraduate degree in finance and economics on Saturday. He’s currently tackling a dual role in the classroom; he began a graduate program in corporate leadership this fall and is on track to receive his MBA in the spring of 2021.
Five years for an undergraduate degree and MBA, all while playing Division I football? Not bad at all.
Drake had three players named to the academic All-American teams, the most in the nation. It’s two first-team members tied the United States Naval Academy for the top spot.
Drake offensive lineman Jacob Bacon joined Jergens on the first team. Offensive lineman Isaiah Kent-Scheider was named to the second team.
A 6-foot-2, 274-pound defensive lineman, Jergens started all 11 games for Drake this fall. He recorded 19 tackles, including a team-high three sacks, and also forced two fumbles. The Bulldogs went 6-5, 6-2 in the Pioneer Football League where they shared the runner-up spot with Dayton behind San Diego.
Jergens has one year of football eligibility remaining.
A Class 3A first-team all-state linebacker for WCHS in the fall of 2015, Jergens helped the Lynx win 11 games and reach the state quarterfinals as a prep senior. He made the switch from defensive end to linebacker prior to the start of the 2015 season, and soon after the college coaches came calling.
And Drake was the perfect fit.
“The reason I came (to Drake) was for the business school and if you look at the rankings, especially in the Midwest, Drake is right up there,” Jergens said. “They offered the program I wanted. And then the opportunity to put the Division I sticker on the back of your helmet, being able to mix those two worlds has been awesome.”
Juggling a strenuous academic work load with football at the collegiate level isn’t easy for anyone. But Jergens says he’s found ways to succeed at both.
“It comes down to choices,” he said. “A lot of people mess up the GPA because they’re on their own in college, but for me, I already had a schedule with football so it was really easy for me with being structured. You have to prioritize things. I had to give up some of the ancillary parts of college, but that’s fine.”
Following the completion of his MBA, Jergens hopes to utilize his skills in the financial world.
“With my finance degree, the great thing is I can apply it anywhere,” he said. “But I think I’d like to look for opportunities to trade derivatives on the stock market.”
In the present though, Jergens says he’ll continue to try to excel in the classroom and on the football field.
“After next season I’m walking away from football and we’ll never meet again,” he said. “As far as Drake goes, I’ve met some of the best friends I’ll ever have in my life. When it’s 5 a.m. and you’re doing gassers on the basketball court and throwing up, those are bonds you’re not going to make with a lot of people.”