Monday, April 27, 2009

Well-deserved opportunity for Ferris State University's Jake Visser

Former FSU Standout Epitomizes The Term Student-Athlete

BIG RAPIDS – Former Ferris State University All-American defensive tackle Jake Visser now knows he will have an opportunity to prove himself on the sport’s biggest stage – the National Football League.

Visser, a native of Coopersville, enjoyed an outstanding career at Ferris from the minute he arrived on the Big Rapids campus. Following day two of last weekend’s 2009 NFL Draft, Visser received the good news he wanted. The Houston Texans, who contacted him shortly after the conclusion of the draft, struck a deal with the former Ferris star as Visser and the franchise agreed in principle to a priority free agent contract.

“It is a dream come true,” he said after the Texans made their offer following the 2009 NFL Draft. “I watched the draft at a friend’s house and was a little disappointed that I hadn’t heard anything during the day. On the way home, I got a call from my agent and as I walked in the door he said the Texans were going to pick me up. It’s something that I’ve worked hard for my whole life so I’m definitely excited about the opportunity.”

It’s a well-deserved honor for the 6-foot-2 and 275-pound Visser who has not only been a success on the football field, but also in the classroom. Visser, who won a 2009 NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship, plans to be in mini-camp with the Texans (June 15-17) to begin his journey to what he hopes is an NFL career. Among Visser’s best attributes are his dedication to education, family, teammates, hard work and success. Near the end of the season, as reporters continued to ask about his NFL aspirations, Visser remained as humble as ever.

Consider this comment after the final game of his college career – a home loss to Saginaw Valley (Nov. 8).

“It has been a real honor and a real blessing for me to have had the opportunity to play college football at Ferris State University,” said Visser, who expects to graduate next month with a degree in secondary education. “I know I made the right decision coming here to play college football at Ferris and if I had that decision to make over again I would pick Ferris again.”

Here is what Visser told me after the Saginaw Valley game – about his prospects for a pro career in the NFL: “The future for me is still undecided. I would love to be able to play football at the next level, but I know the odds really are against it. I’m a little short and I’m a little light, but I am still hoping to get an opportunity.”

He now has that opportunity.

Visser, who was married last summer to his wife (Jessica), worked hard to prepare himself for a shot at professional football and for life after football (teaching and possibly coaching some football one of these days). It’s great to see he has not put all his eggs in one basket – banking on a career in the NFL. Thanks to education, Visser now has a solid foundation in place should his dreams of an NFL career not pan out as he hopes.

From start to finish during his time in Big Rapids, Jake Visser has carried himself as the epitome of what it means truly to be a student-athlete at Ferris State University.

For more information on Visser’s deal with the Houston Texans of the NFL, visit:


  1. This is great news for Jake. A lot of people here in Big Rapids, his hometown and all over the place will be rooting for his success!