Maryland football’s Jake Funk declares for NFL Draft

Running back Jake Funk adjusts his helmet ahead of Maryland's 27-24 overtime loss to Rutgers on Dec. 12, 2020, at Maryland Stadium. (Julia Nikhinson/The Diamondback)

Maryland running back Jake Funk has declared for the NFL Draft, he announced Monday on Twitter.

The decision ends five years in College Park for Funk and comes on the heels of a breakout 2020 campaign for the redshirt senior.

He rushed for 516 yards and three scores while tallying 68 receiving yards and another touchdown in four games in this pandemic-shortened season. The campaign was punctuated by two 200-plus all-purpose-yard days against Minnesota and Rutgers, lifting his draft stock. And after the season, he was named to the All-Big Ten Third Team by the conference’s coaches, cementing his rise.

[“He’s a machine”: Jake Funk’s return helped Maryland football defeat Minnesota]

But getting to that point was not easy for Funk. Despite setting records at nearby Damascus High School, he was a largely unheralded three-star recruit that was swooped up by then-interim coach Mike Locksley in October 2015.

Funk toiled down the depth chart during his first two years with the Terps, impressing in limited action but never quite breaking through. And then came his injury struggles.

He broke his hand in practice after the first game of the 2018 season. Then, in his second game back later that year, he tore his left ACL. And in 2019, he re-tore that same ACL against Temple.

But through an arduous rehab came a prolific 2020, and now, a shot at something greater. Though a redshirt senior, Funk would have been able to return for Maryland’s 2021 season, thanks to the NCAA providing a blanket eligibility waiver for all fall athletes due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Instead, Funk decided to live out his greatest ambitions.

“It has always been a dream of mine to one day compete at the highest level of football,” Funk said in his announcement on Twitter. “I will truly miss my teammates, coaches and staff that have helped mold me into the man that I am today, but I couldn’t be more thrilled for this opportunity.”

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