In many ways, Hidden Valley's Jake Kite turned in a typical performance last Friday over Pulaski. Typical for him, far above average for most other players and is having one heck of a senior season before heading to Duke on scholarship next year.
The numbers from Jake Kite's all-around demolition of Pulaski last Friday jump off the page.
"Since about the mid-90s he is, in my opinion, the best overall defensive player that the valley has seen." says Coach Scott Weaver.
You like textbook tackles? How about 15 plus a forced fumble.
"You don't really think about it when it happens. Just got to come up there with no brakes and go through the guy." Jake Kite said
You can also check out his recruiting tape which has become something of a Youtube sensation.
"Big hits, running his feet, tackling the right way. Normally after 60-90 seconds these college coaches say we've seen enough." Weaver said.
Kite also has old school toughness. His intense conditioning allows him to play safety, receiver and return kicks. And he's doing it all with a messed up shoulder that will require surgery after the season.
"He's one of the toughest kids you've ever met. We're at PH, shoulder comes out, he comes over, they put it back in. He missed one play, goes back in the game." says Weaver.
Kite said "My adrenaline is going so it's not too bad I guess."
And the rare times Jake Kite does make a mistake, like a fumble that led to seven points for the Cougars, there is immediate retribution.
Weaver said, "As a staff, we're on the headsets, and we said goodness gracious if they kick it to Kite here either somebody is getting run over or he's going to take it to the house."
He went with option B -- blazing 89 yards to tie the game in an eventual Titans victory.
Kite chose a scholarship from Duke over a number of other big time offers. The Blue Devils are the darlings of the ACC this year, bowl eligible for the first time since 1994. After Hidden Valley went 0-10 two years ago, Kite is leading the Titans to back-to-back playoff berths. Weaver thinks similar challenges are what attracted Kite to Duke.
Weaver said, "He's going to help build something. That's something that attracted him there and I think it's a perfect fit for him."
Kite describers it as a "Whole new program down there. [Coach David Cutcliffe] has completely turned it around. You can just see it when you go down and visit, it's not the same place it was a couple years ago."
"Before its breakout season this fall, Duke football was in the news as the rehab destination for one Peyton Manning. The NFL QB was trying to work his way back into the league with his former college coach, David Cutcliffe. Coach Weaver, here at Hidden Valley, tells a great story from one of Jake's recruiting trips to Durham. They bumped into Cutcliffe and Manning. The Duke boss turned to one of the best quarterbacks in NFL history and said in forty years recruiting this is the hardest hitter I've ever seen. That's the way you make an impact, something Jake Kite has been doing his entire career."