Jake Funk is now a pro. The Maryland football running back was selected by the Los Angeles Rams in the seventh round of the NFL Draft Saturday afternoon.
His pick marks the fourth straight year the Terps have seen one of their players taken in the draft.
The selection marks the end of a winding road to the NFL for the redshirt senior. Though a record-breaking star at Damascus High School, Funk was a rather lightly targeted three-star recruit when he came to College Park.
He appeared in every game in his first two seasons, rushing for a combined 281 yards and five touchdowns across 2016 and 2017. Funk had made an impact, and he was in the mix to be the lead back in 2018 in a crowded room that included future draftees Ty Johnson and Anthony McFarland.
Then, the injury struggles came.
He broke his hand in practice after the first game of his junior year. Two games after he returned from that injury, he tore his left ACL. Then, in the third game of the 2019 campaign, he re-tore that same ACL.
After a grueling rehab, Funk emerged as the top option in a shortened 2020 season. And he excelled.
He rushed for 516 yards and three touchdowns while adding 68 receiving yards and a score in four games. Funk was named to the All-Big Ten Third Team after the season.
His efforts turned heads, and Funk declared for the draft in December, forgoing his last remaining year of eligibility. Though initially projected to be an undrafted free agent, Funk impressed during his pro day and came under consideration as a late-round pick due to his special teams ability and strong physical metrics.
Now, the Rams have acted. Just as he did in college, Funk will have to work his way up the depth chart if he wants a chance to stay in the league.
If he does, a bright future on the field could await.