Jake Kiley ’12 Signs Letter of Intent to Play Football at Penn State

2/2/2012
After a stellar career in which he led his team to three consecutive NEPSAC Bowl games, New Hampton School senior quarterback and defensive back Jake Kiley of Plymouth, New Hampshire, made his college destination official on Wednesday. Kiley, a 6-foot-2, 185-pounder, signed a letter of intent and will play at Penn State for new football coach Bill O'Brien, who will finish his duties as the Patriots Offensive Coordinator this week.

"It feels great!" said Kiley, who recently made his official visit to Penn State. "I’m very excited to officially commit to a great academic school as well and have the chance to play for a great football program."

Kiley piled up accolades in the last three years. A three-time all-New England selection, he was also a two-time Evergreen League MVP and the All New England NEPSAC Player of the year as a senior. He was also the Gatorade New Hampshire Player of the Year and Boston Globe All-Scholastic. As a defensive back, he intercepted 17 passes and had 127 tackles in 35 games. Despite injuries in his senior season, he finished his career with 29 passing touchdowns and 29 rushing touchdowns from his quarterback position. He also caught five passes  for touchdowns as a receiver.

"I’m excited for the opportunity to graduate with a meaningful degree, and play at the highest level of college football in front of the best fans in the country," Kiley said.

With a weight room and expansive playing fields at his fingertips, Kiley took advantage of the many chances to develop as an athlete while at New Hampton. He also fared well in the classroom with small classes, close relationships with teachers, and the challenges of International Baccalaureate classes.

"New Hampton has helped me mature both athletically and academically," Kiley said. "It also helped me work on skills that will be very useful next year, such as time management."

Though Kiley was not recruited by new Penn State Coach Bill O'Brien, they share New England roots.

"I talked to Coach O’Brien the day after he accepted the job," Kiley said. "I also had the chance to meet with him while on my official visit. The new coaching staff is great, I’m expecting to be pushed and guided to the best of my abilities."  

 Kiley's decision to sign with Penn State came in the wake of recent turmoil and then the passing of legendary former coach Joe Paterno. The last three months have not been easy for Kiley.

"It was tough losing some of the coaches that I have grown close with, and all of the negative media that surrounded the program was tough to deal with," Kiley said. "Then to top it all off the passing of Coach Paterno was the final test of will. However,  throughout the whole thing the fans and the school stayed positive and were very encouraging towards me. They helped to ease everything that had taken place. The new coaching staff has been great as well, and I really enjoyed meeting them on my official visit so I decided to stay committed."

Kiley played his entire high school career for Ed Kiley, a former Natick (Ma.) standout who is the New Hampton School football coach and a history teacher at Plymouth (NH) High.

"Words can't describe how I feel right now," the elder Kiley said. "But as  a parent and coach, I am very proud of Jake for having the opportunity to pursue his career as a student-athlete at such a great academic institution while playing football  for one of the most prestigious football programs in America."

Coach Kiley thinks his son has developed immensely since he first arrived at New Hampton as a wiry freshman.

"The keys to his development over the past four years were playing other sports such as basketball, working on speed and quickness, hitting the weights, breaking his own film down, being a student of the game, attending football camps and learning how to be a great leader," Coach Kiley said.  "And yes it does help growing up in a football family!  It has not always been easy with me breathing down his neck in meetings, on the field, and at the dinner table."

The younger Kiley's versatility will give him options at the college level, and his former coach doesn't think it's clear yet what the new coaching staff will want to do with Jake Kiley's varied talents.

"Jake is a very good athlete who can play several positions," Coach Kiley said. "But at PSU, I see him playing in the defensive secondary with some opportunities to catch some balls at wide receiver and return some kicks on special teams. Time will tell, which makes it very exciting for him."