Fredonia’s Jake Skinner is staying active during COVID-19 pandemic

Continuing the grind

Skinner bulldozes through group of Falconer/Cassadaga Valley defenders during a game in the 2019 season. OBSERVER File Photo

For many, the novel coronavirus pandemic has served as a chance for people to bundle up and binge watch all of their favorite Netflix shows. Fredonia’s Jake Skinner is not the many, he is the few, he is a Division-I athlete.

Skinner is set to join the Division-I FCS football program Central Connecticut State University this summer as a freshman tight end. The last thing that any rookie would want to do is show up to camp unprepared, so even amidst the pandemic Skinner has been hard at work to make sure he will be ready for Division-I football this summer.

“Right now I do daily runs to keep my conditioning stable,” Skinner told the OBSERVER. “I also do lots of body weight exercise along with ladder drills.”

Despite football being the ultimate team sport, there are plenty of drills and exercises that can be done by just one person. However, on your own, you will never be able to replicate all of the feels that would be experienced in a practice on the gridiron.

“It’s hard not being able to catch balls and go to wide receiver training with Coach Overton in Buffalo, but I’m making do with what I have available,” Skinner told the OBSERVER.

Fredonia’s Jake Skinner attempts to shake off a Portville defender during a game in the 2019 season for the Hillbillies. OBSERVER File Photo

While Skinner can’t train with his wide receiver coach and work on the group training that helps him be a better football player, he’s not alone. Every athlete has been forced to adapt and find different ways to train. Many will give up or not try as hard with nobody watching, but that’s not Skinner. Skinner continuing to train in any way he can will be something that separates him from those who don’t have that same drive.

At Central Connecticut State, the program that has invested in Skinner, they’re continuing to keep in contact with the Fredonia product to make sure he is staying on track.

“I’ve been in contact with my recruiting coordinator on a weekly basis,” stated Skinner. “They just tell me to do what I can with what I have.”

So right now Skinner is working on the little things that he can do by himself to make sure that when he arrives in New Britain Connecticut, that the CCSU Blue Devils have a prime shape Fredonia Hillbillie.

“Right now it’s fundamentals and making sure I stay in shape,” Skinner said about his training. “I work a lot on releases on my own and the breaks of routes.”

If by summertime the novel coronavirus has started to reel and we return to normalcy, the 6’4″ 240lb tight end will get to battle for his spot on the Blue Devils. The work ethic, measurables, and football versatility with the Fredonia senior makes for one heck of a prospect headed to the Blue Devils program this summer.


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