Beyond the Game: Packers hopeful Jake Stoneburner
GREEN BAY (WITI) — If you have a uniform and a locker, you have a shot! That’s the way many Packers hopefuls are approaching the months between now and the start of the regular season. One of those hopefuls knows he has less room for error than others.
Jake Stoneburner is currently a tight end on the Packers roster. The 6’4″ 250-pound ex-Ohio State Buckeye is an undrafted free agent who has the best he can ask for in trying to get his professional career off the ground.
“Any chance you get thrown in, whether its with the ones, twos, threes — just make an impression. Be early on everything. Don’t make mistakes,” Stoneburner said.
Stoneburner knows that mistakes can doom anyone. The former high school All-American lost his scholarship at Ohio State for running from police after he was caught urinating on a building in June of 2012. All charges were later dropped, but his stock did too, with Urban Meyer and professional scouts.
“I was like ‘oh man, I got myself in trouble,’ but I didn’t realize how much it affected everybody, from the team, Coach Meyer, my family, even Ohio State. I put us in a bad limelight,” Stoneburner said.
Now, Stoneburner is trying to work his way up from the bottom in Green Bay.
“A challenge because I went undrafted and the odds are against me to make this team, but it’s also a little bit of pressure because this is what I’ve dreamed of doing for so long,” Stoneburner said.
While some of his new teammates are stepping up from Division III college football, Stoneburner won’t be intimidated at all by the big NFL stadiums like Lambeau Field. If you play at Ohio State, you’ve played on a big stage.
“I played probably four or five games over 100,000 people, sold out. You know, it adds pressure. I’m used to the pressure situations. Those guys are here for a reason as well, but I feel like with the people watching and the pressure, I definitely have an advantage with that, and the type of football we played certainly helps too,” Stoneburner said.
Stoneburner once had it all laid out for him in football. Now, he hopes to put the pieces back together again, and pave a new path to the NFL.
The Green Bay Packers are currently going through voluntary workouts before next month’s mandatory minicamp. Stoneburner says he looks forward to the heavy workload.