A fortuitous workout at the University of Toledo football team’s pro day has opened the door to a chance to attain a lifelong dream for former Ryle High School record-setting running back Jake Chisholm.
Chisholm, a record-breaker at the University of Dayton and a two-time Football Championship Subdivision All-American, caught the eye of Cincinnati Bengals scouts during his participation at Toledo. The Bengals subsequently extended an invitation to Chisholm, who has been invited to participate in a local pre-draft workout conducted by the Bengals on April 18.
“Every kid’s dream when they’re growing up playing Pee Wee football is to go on and play in the NFL,” Chisholm said Thursday during an interview with WDTN.com in Dayton. “And I had a tremendous career at the University that put me in the position to where I do have this shot.”
Chisholm, a four-time Academic All-American, earned a degree in pre-med in December after becoming the first Dayton Flyer to record three 1,000-yard rushing seasons. He’s currently attending med school. He ended his career as the school’s all-time record-holder in all-purpose yards with 5,063. He’s second all-time in school history with 47 touchdowns and third with 3,276 rushing yards.
In his senior season of 2022, the two-time Dayton MVP rushed for a team-leading 1,050 yards while helping lead the Flyers to an 8-3 record and a second-place 6-2 finish in the Pioneer Football League. A versatile workhorse back with a nose for the endzone, Chisholm led the PFL with 1,320 all-purpose yards and 102 points scored. He ranked fourth nationally with 21.2 carries per game and fifth with 1.5 touchdowns a contest.
“(The Bengals’ invite) was something that I was hoping for,” Chisholm said. “I have been training the past few months. I had a pro day and I got it. So, I was really excited.”
Chisholm, a strong 5-foot-8, 192-pound player, was one of 15 finalists for the 2022 William V. Campbell Trophy presented by the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame. The trophy, also known as the Academic Heisman, recognizes individuals as the best football scholar-athletes in the nation. Chisholm was on the list with players from Yale, Stanford, Johns Hopkins and University of Chicago. Just the eighth Dayton Flyer football player to earn an NFF post-graduate scholarship, he had the second-highest grade-point average (3.98) among the finalists.
Chisholm, a 2018 high school graduate, finished his prep career as Ryle’s all-time leading rusher with more than 4,700 yards while setting several school standards including single-season rushing yards (2,315), single-game rushing yards (449), single-game rushing attempts (42) and rushing yards per game in a season (210.5). The 449 yards is the seventh-most in a game in Kentucky history. Chisholm also holds Ryle records for single-season touchdowns (35) and career touchdowns (73).
“On the 18th, I’ll be able to show (the Bengals) that I’m the whole package when it comes to a player,” Chisholm said. “I know that my whole career, really, I’ve been knocked for my size. I haven’t really been the biggest guy ever on the field. So, I’m hoping that they see I’m a great football player all-around.”