Dreams really do come true.
Just ask Jake Witt, the kid from the small Ewen-Trout Creek High who has been drafted by the National Football League’s Indianapolis Colts.
Witt heard his name called in the seventh and final round of the draft on Saturday, making him the first Northern Michigan University football player to be drafted since 1991, when Mark Maddox was taken by the Buffalo Bills.
Witt played only one year of eight-man football on the Ontonagon co-op team, and he initially went to Michigan Tech University to play basketball. He transferred to Northern just to be a student, got convinced to walk on to the NMU football team, started as a tight end, and then switched to the offensive line because of injuries on the team.
Now, after working his tail off for months, the 6-foot-7 offensive tackle is the 236th player picked out of 252 taken in the seven- round draft. Witt turned heads at the Pro Day workouts in Mt. Pleasant in March, and the attention he got there led to visits with nine different NFL teams.
“The Colts were actually one of the first teams who reached out to me, well before the Pro Day,” Witt said. “We had good conversations, good interviews with them. I had a private workout with the Colts a couple of weeks ago. As the process has unfolded, the Colts have continued to be there as a team that was backing me, and wanting me. I’m just super-excited to be in Indianapolis and to be with a program that has shown that love and support.”
As he sat watching the draft just like the rest of us, Witt wasn’t 100-percent sure he would hear his name called at all.
“Leading up to the draft, and after the Pro Day, we started getting a lot of attention, but all of it was speculation,” Witt said. “I was just here, hanging out with my family, and watching the draft. We were looking at the tackles that were being taken, and teams that I had corresponded with previously, and I started receiving a lot of calls in the sixth and the early seventh rounds. As the rounds were going on, obviously, things were happening. The Colts took a chance on me, and I’m super-excited for it.”