Who is Jake Haener, the 2023 Senior Bowl MVP?
The 2023 Reese’s Senior Bowl was truly a showcase of talent on both sides, but the National team’s quarterback definitely stood above everybody else.
It was a perfect evening in Mobile, Albama when the National Team took on the American Team, in what turned out to be a 27-10 win for the National team. The score was definitely indicative of the play on the field, which was led by Fresno State’s Jake Haener. The QB was stellar, with his 12 of 19 passes for 145 yards and 1 touchdown.
Introducing Senior Bowl MVP, Jake Haener
Though it’s true that NFL scouts pay more attention to the practice week that precedes the Senior Bowl, it would be a mistake to think that emphasis isn’t placed on performance during the actual game. With that in mind, there is definitely one young man who stood up to be counted. Fresno State’s Jake Haener came into this game both fresh off of a productive 2022 and squarely on the radar of evaluators from the NFL. After his team’s dominant victory over the Americans, courtesy of his MVP performance, it’s fair to say he should be.
But, who is Jake Haener?
A three star recruit out of Monte Vista High School, according to ESPN, Haener chose Washington. While he would only play in three games for the Huskies in his freshman year, he would end up with an impressive QB rating of 87.7. The very next season, he would transfer to Fresno State where it became clear he might have something. In that sophomore year, he’d get on the field six times during which he’d register a completion rate of 64.7 with an average of 8.7 yards per pass. There were also 14 TDs and a final rating of 103.4. Worth mentioning, were his 42 rushes for a total of 201 yards on an average of 4.8 per rush.
By the time his junior year rolled around, it was clear that Haener had found his feet. Across 13 games, the signal caller posted an unbelievable 4098 passing yards on 490 attempts, to go with a rate of 67.3%, on an average of 8.4 yards per try. What was the haul for all of those numbers? An outstanding 33 touchdowns and a season rating of 107.8. On the ground, he was responsible for 55 scrambles for a total of 195 yards on an average of 3.5 per run. His senior year, was essentially business as usual. In the 9 games that he played; he logged an eye opening 2620 yards on 318 attempts with a completion rate of 72% on an average of 8.2 yards per pass. His 18 TDs weren’t bad either, as well as his QB rating of 114. The point is, Jake Haener is very, very good quarterback.
Ok, not what, but WHO is Jake Haener?
If there is one thing that Haener has demonstrated throughout his college career - aside from his sensational attributes - it’s his quiet confidence. Indeed, when Haener spoke earlier this week during the practice sessions, his words were those of a player who knows he’s good, but also understands there’s always room to be better. Humble, but lethal.
“I feel like I’ve been pretty consistent so far with my accuracy and you know there’s just something with progression reads that are a little off and timing and things like that, which happen,” Haener said. “But I feel like the ball has been popping off my hand pretty good and when I have to, throwing into tight windows.” What he said next was interesting, as he spoke about the advice, he had received from the Senior Bowl coaching staff, which basically amounted to, ‘more of the same.’ “Just to continue doing what I’m doing and play with a little more anticipation,’ Haener said. ‘Speed up, speed up my process. The faster you play, the better you play. So, you just continue to try to do that.” Well, he definitely did that in the Senior Bowl, so keep an eye on this kid, he’s likely to be going places.
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