Butler Grizzlies freshman quarterback Jake Wolff wins No. 1 spot by betting on himself
EL DORADO — Sometimes you have to bet on yourself.
That's what Jake Wolff is doing at Butler this season as he was named the starting quarterback as a freshman.
It wasn't easy when he arrived on campus. He was a facing Division I transfer and two players who split time last season. In the end, it was Wolff who ended up winning out.
"It was a close battle all camp," Butler Head Coach Tim Schaffner said. "When we looked at it and thought if the returning guys were that close, we were going to give the freshman the opportunity because of his potential to grow."
Wolff, who had college offers could have gone elsewhere but made the decision to come to Butler, where they had two quarterbacks returning from the previous season. The odds were stacked against him. It's nothing new as they were also stacked against him when he went to Allen, with General Booty also transferring in. Booty, who is attending Tyler College (TX).
"Transferring into Allen was like transferring into Butler" Wolff said. "It prepared me to be ready to compete for this job like I had to at Allen."
When Wolff was named starting quarterback for Week 1, other quarterbacks decided to leave the program
The reps at Allen High in Texas weren't given as he split time with Booty, another transfer from out of state but it has prepared him for these moments. It's the quarterback battles and constantly having to make sure you're doing the right things or you could see less playing time.
He showed there is that growth to be had in the loss to Independence. When he had time, he moved the offense down the field, adjusting on the fly and playing with moxie when he had to. He's what you want in your quarterback.
"He [Wolff] has the intangibles that you are looking for in the team his team's rallied around him," Schaffner said.
The Freshman who came to Butler Community College by way of Allen, Texas is no stranger to the state of Kansas. He was the leader of Blue Valley High for his first few high school playing days but when COVID-19 cancelled seasons and moved things, Wolff took the opportunity to play elsewhere, insuring he would get his reps in his senior year. On Saturday night against Independence, Wolff didn't have to worry about any of that as he played all four quarters, something he hasn't done since his junior year at Blue Valley.
"It's nice not having to worry about someone else breathing down your back," Wolff said. "It just gives it just gives the whole offense an extra confidence knowing we're rolling with one dude and we can we can lean on one one guy to lead us."
You can look at the final score and want to place blame on Wolff but it was anything but his fault. He was sacked six times but when he was given time. He finished 19 of 34 passing for 233 yards and four touchdowns. Those four touchdowns are the eighth most in a game in Butler history.
"He didn't turn it over and he's mature beyond his years," Schaffner said.
It's been a couple of seasons since Butler has seen consistency at quarterback. It could be the missing piece on the offensive side for an explosion on offense that doesn't pass the ball a lot.
While it appears Wolff is the No. 1 guy, Wolff understands there is still hard work to be had and the quarterback room supports one another.
"We're all pushing each other if someone sees something we're letting each other know someone sees something else" Wolff said. "We're supporting and pushing each other."