After leading the Marble Falls High School football team to the 2020 and 2021 playoffs, senior quarterback Jake Becker will suit up for Hardin-Simmons University in fall 2022.
Playing college football was a goal for the son of Krystal and Matt Becker, who was the Mustangs quarterback in the mid 1990s, and passed his love of the sport to his son. The younger Becker’s favorite part is the teamwork football requires.
“I grew up playing it and loving it,” he said. “I genuinely enjoy being around everybody, the environment it brings. It’s not just a personal sport; it takes everyone to get into the end zone.”
Becker, who started for the Mustangs for three years, will move to slot receiver and running back.
“They think I can turn into a safety or return kicks or be on the kickoff team if slot receiver and running back is full,” he said.
Coaches contacted Becker in early January, and he and his family traveled to Abilene to visit the campus a couple of weeks later. He committed that weekend.
“I thought it was the best place for me,” he said. “They have a really good program.”
The Cowboys finished the 2021 campaign at 9-1 and didn’t receive one of the five at-large bids for the NCAA Division III playoffs. During the past six seasons, HSU has a 57-12 record.
HSU has a subvarsity squad for freshmen designed to give the first-year players exposure to the pace of college football. Becker expects to play on that team during the 2022 season.
“They have a big roster, they have a varsity team that’s official,” he said. “The demo team plays on Monday nights. They play Blinn College and other junior colleges. And if somebody is injured, who’s a senior or a junior, they’ll put them on the demo team.”
Becker, who will be a business administration major, also heard from Sul Ross State University, Austin College and a couple of others.
Few question Becker’s toughness. He broke his left foot during the second quarter of the 35-13 win against Mission Veterans Memorial Nov. 19 in the area round of the 2021 Class 5A Division II playoffs and didn’t leave the game. He had a couple of key runs, including a touchdown, to keep the clock running.
“Our team gave it their all, and I felt like I wasn’t as big of a factor in the game as I felt I could’ve been,” he said. “Everyone was more about getting (the victory).”
While the winning is always great, Becker said his memories go beyond the scoreboard, As the son of a legacy quarterback who could tell the tales of the great Mustang teams of the 1990s, it was important to the younger Becker and his classmates to get the program moving in that direction again. They committed themselves to leading the program back to the postseason and playing December football.
“It brought me a lot of close friends that will last a lifetime,” he said. “Nobody thought Marble Falls would be anything. My classmates our freshman year going 9-1, and we kept that (drive and commitment). All the seniors came together, and we had a bond that was hard to break. It was real hard to break our spirits no matter what happened.”
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