Last Go 'Round: Jaelen Gill Focused On Reaching Playoffs, But Looking Forward to U.S. Army All-American Bowl

By Andrew Lind on October 6, 2017 at 3:35 pm
Jaelen Gill

Ohio State commit Jaelen Gill, a five-star running back from Westerville South, has agreed to give Eleven Warriors exclusive access into his senior season with the Wildcats.

He'll join us every Friday with a notebook entry sharing everything from his thoughts on his play to who he's recruiting on behalf of the Buckeyes.

Gill's latest entry comes just hours before Westerville South's game at Olentangy Liberty. 

We didn't get the win we were hoping for last week. We lost to the Olentangy Braves, 42-23.

We started the first quarter well, but gave up 14 unanswered points in the second quarter. We struggled on special teams with turnovers and gave up a punt return.

I played with a strained hamstring that happened as I was running into the end zone for a touchdown the week before against Big Walnut. I didn't practice all week, spent a lot of time icing, stretching and using the stim[ulation machine]. I was determined to play against the Braves and felt pretty good, but not 100 percent. I mainly played offense, with some limited defense late in the third quarter

I had a 65-yard rushing touchdown called back and scored on a six-yard fade.

We're 3-3 and play Olentangy Liberty this week. They're a solid team. We have to cut down the mental mistakes to get this win. We need this win to keep up our hopes of making it into the playoffs.

I'll be back at Ohio State for the Maryland game. I'm looking forward to seeing how they match up after a big win over Texas in Week 1. They have a good backfield that I'm interested in seeing, as well. 

Since I started this journey in sixth grade, I've made a lot of goals for myself over the years. I've been extremely fortunate to have achieved many of those. One of the biggest goals I set for myself was to be a U.S. Army All-American. This past spring, I was honored to have been selected to play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl game. 

There are several reasons this is a dream come true for me.

My family has a history of military service. My great grandfather served in the Army during World War II, as well as the Korean and Vietnam wars. His brothers served in the military, as well. My grandfather was a Marine and his brother served in the Army.

I have so many extended family members who have served and I am thankful for them.

In the 7th grade, I played in the Eastbay Youth All-American Bowl game in the Alamodome the day after the U.S. Army Bowl game. That weekend, my goal of returning to play there my senior year was born. We were invited to join them for a private concert by Wale and we were able to go watch them play.

That year, Eli Apple, Ezekiel Elliott and Derrick Henry were just a few of the players who attended. At the end of the game, we were able to go on the field and the players gave autographs or gear to us kids. I was given one cleat, I'm not even sure who the player was that gave it to me. That cleat has sat on top of my dresser as a constant reminder of my goal.  

I was fortunate enough to be invited back as an Eastbay Youth All-American in 8th grade, as well, and once again was able to experience the U.S. Army Bowl game up close. 

This week, I finalized the date of the U.S. Army All-American Jersey presentation at my school for Nov. 8th after school. I am beyond excited for that day! It's been a long, fun and overwhelming journey. I can't believe that this dream is coming true!

Go Cats! Go Bucks!

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