Saint Andrew’s ’15 Jake Bargas signs with NFL’s Minnesota Vikings
Updated: May 28
Back in his high school days Saint Andrew’s 4 sport star Jake Bargas passed up quite a few offers to play NCAA division 1 lacrosse, instead he took his football talents to the University of North Carolina where he played 48 games as a tight end and a special teams member. That decision paid off for the “team-first” Bargas when he signed a contract to be a fullback with the Minnesota Vikings a few days after the 2020 NFL draft, which was held late last month via videoconferencing. Although he was not drafted, his signing is a clear indication that the team believes he can serve as the backup to starting fullback C.J. Ham. Most teams in the NFL do not carry a backup fullback, so Bargas may spend time on the Vikings practice squad, unless he wins the job outright in training camp, or shows enough versatility and promise at tight end and on special teams to be included on the 53 man roster.
Jake Bargas playing lacrosse for Saint Andrew's in a 2014 home game against Boys' Latin of Maryland (photo credit: www.CoyoteMagicActionShots.com )
Jake participated in lacrosse, football, basketball, and track in high school at Saint Andrew’s School in Boca Raton, Florida where he earned a total of 14 varsity letters. He won a state championship during his freshman season and was a state runner up in 2013 while playing lacrosse for head coach R.J. Dawson and defensive coordinator Rich Mullen. He also played club lacrosse for 3 years with Team Florida for legendary coach Jeff Goldberg. On the gridiron Bargas broke multiple records at Saint Andrew’s, and made all conference, and all-county teams while being ranked as the number 13th tight end in the nation by ESPN.com. You can only wonder what kind of lacrosse defender this kid could have turned into, but when you are that good at football it makes a lot of sense to pursue it.
Jim Brown is widely regarded as one of the best athletes ever and spends a considerable amount of his time promoting the game of lacrosse (photo credit: www.CoyoteMagicActionShots.com )
There have been many former lacrosse players who have made it to the National Football League, most notably, of course being Jim Brown, who is often regarded as the best to ever play either sport. Brown played more then just lacrosse and football though, he earned 13 varsity letters in 5 sports (lacrosse, football, basketball, baseball, and track) at Manhasset High School on Long Island, and earned 10 varsity letters playing 4 different sports (lacrosse, football, basketball, and track) at Syracuse University. In recent years we have heard a lot about Chris Hogan who has been in the NFL since 2013 playing for the Buffalo Bills, New England Patriots and Carolina Panthers, but is currently a free agent. Hogan was a star lacrosse player at Ramapo High School in New Jersey, and was also an integral part of the offense at Penn State University during his NCAA career. Another household name in football for the past decade is Steven Hauschka who played lacrosse and football at Monmouth College, and has enjoyed time with the Baltimore Ravens, Denver Broncos, Seattle Seahawks, and Buffalo Bills as a 6 foot 4 inch placekicker. Some other lacrosse players who have recently played in the NFL include Will Yeatman Chris Long, Zach Triner, Nick O’Leary, Alex Collins, Sam Hubbard, Evan Royster, Jason Kelce, Luke Kuechly, Travis Swanson, Micha Kiser, Kyle Lauletta, and Tom Kennedy. Kennedy played lacrosse and football at Farmingdale High School and Bryant University before getting drafted by Major League Lacrosse's Boston Cannons where he played in 6 games during the 2018 season. In May 2019 he was signed by the Detroit Lions and got into 1 game during the 2019 season, making him the first known pro lacrosse player to also play in the NFL. Over the past decade we have seen quite an increase in former lacrosse players getting their shot to play in the NFL. Maybe it has something to do with legendary general manager and head coach of the New England Patriots, Bill Belichick, who played lacrosse, football and squash at Wesleyan University, and has been an advocate for the sport of lacrosse for quite some time now. He was also the mastermind that helped Hogan become a 2 time Super Bowl champion during his stay in New England.
Tom Kennedy playing in a 2018 MLL game for the Boston Cannons against the Chesapeake Bayhawks. In 2019, Kennedy played in a game for the Detroit Lions to become the first known professional lacrosse player to play in the NFL (photo credit: Laura Kupsey)
This year 2 more former lacrosse players are joining the Viking's Jake Bargas in quests to play in the NFL. Jamir Jones was an offensive threat on the lacrosse field for head coach Grant "Big Cat" Catalino at Aquinas Institute in Rochester, New York, before becoming a defensive end at Notre Dame University. He also played football and basketball for Aquinas in high school winning state championships in both of those sports. Like Bargas, he went undrafted, but was signed by the Houston Texans last month. Jamir's brother Jarron played football and basketball, but not lacrosse at Aquinas, and also played on the defensive line at Notre Dame until he graduated in 2016. Jarron signed an NFL contract last month as well, this time with the Pittsburgh Steelers. It is the 8th team that Jarron has signed with in the NFL since 2017, he had been cut or released by the prior 7 without getting into any regular season game action. Once questioned by an NFC Director of Scouting for his love of the game, Jarron took his game to the XFL's New York Guardians this shortened season and apparently proved enough to the Pittsburgh Steelers to receive his 8th NFL contract, and prove to everyone else that he has plenty of love for football. Through his brothers experience, Jamir knows his path to play in the NFL won't be easy, but then again, no one's ever is.
Jamir Jones of Aquinas Institute breaks free of his defender and is winding up to rip a shot on goal against Penn Yan in the 2016 New York State section V class C championship game (photo credit: www.CoyoteMagicActionShots.com)
Isaiah Wilson competed in lacrosse, football and wrestling at Brooklyn's Poly Prep Country Day School before concentrating on just football at the University of Georgia. The massive 6 foot 7 inch, 340 pound offensive lineman with an an equally big personality was selected in the first round by the Tennessee Titans at this year’s draft. Former Brooklyn Poly Prep lacrosse head coach Brooks Sweet remembers his 295 pound junior defenseman as being adored by his teammates and being a major presence on the field. Isaiah was being prepped to play attack in his senior season but football would get in the way and rightfully so. He did absolutely love playing lacrosse and would have played all 4 years in high school if it were a possibility. A lot of expectations get put on a 1st round pick, but you get the feeling Wilson has the right kind of commitment to excel as a pro. In high school, he endured a 2-2 1/2 hour commute daily to study and compete at Brooklyn Poly Prep, which offers the finest in both academics and athletics. He overcame being redshirted his freshman year at Georgia and excelled enough in his sophomore and junior seasons to still get drafted in the 1st round. Technically he is a year behind other NFL rookies so there might be some growing pains early on, but it still appears that the sky is the limit for Isaiah.
Brooklyn Poly Prep lacrosse team photo with 6 foot 6 inch, 295 pound Isaiah Wilson, who is seated in the center (photo courtesy of Brooks Sweet)
Clearly these 3 former lacrosse players have a big hill to climb before they will be playing on Sunday's in the National Football League and the lacrosse community is hoping that all 3 will be doing just that for years to come. No one in Boca Raton would complain if Bargas went out there with the Minnesota Vikings and won Super Bowl LV, which is scheduled to be played on Sunday, February 7, 2021 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. Unless of course the Vikings happen to be playing the Miami Dolphins that night, then maybe there might a few grumbles. Let’s all hope that COVID19 does not affect fall sports like it has this spring, so we can all watch Jake, Jamir, and Isaiah attempt to fulfill their NFL dreams.
Jake Bargas carries the ball in transition for Saint Andrew's in a 2014 game at Palm Beach Gardens (photo credit: www.CoyoteMagicActionShots.com )
Article written by Larry Palumbo, published on 5/28/2020 at 15:00 EST
Jake Bargas 2 photos courtesy of Larry Palumbo
Jim Brown photo courtesy of Larry Palumbo
Tom Kennedy photo courtesy of Laura Kupsey
Jamir Jones photo courtesy of Larry Palumbo
Isaiah WIlson photo courtesy of Brooks Sweet
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