Meet the Pac: Jake Plummer
Jake Plummer was looking forward to sleeping in like every other high school kid.
Instead, Plummer received an 8 a.m. wake up call from Arizona State Head Coach Bruce Snyder. It was the first day that NCAA Division I college football coaches were allowed to contact recruits, and Snyder had his sights set on Plummer.
“Immediately Bruce Snyder said, ‘We want to offer you a scholarship. You’re the guy we want.’ That was a huge boost for a kid like me,” Plummer said. “I went into my senior year of high school knowing that, ‘Wow, I could go to Arizona State.’”
For a small town boy from Idaho, that phone call was a pivotal moment in his journey. Coach Snyder saw something special in Plummer, and it turned out to be a great decision for both of them. During his senior year, Jake led his team to an undefeated season in the Pac-10, and competed in the Rose Bowl against Ohio State in 1997.
“That whole year was just memory after memory,” Plummer said.
After ending his collegiate career on such an impressive note, Jake was drafted by the Arizona Cardinals in 1997. After six seasons with the Cardinals, Plummer signed with the Broncos. He continued to play in the NFL until 2007, when he retired from the sport entirely.
It had been 14 years, and the professional game was taking more of a toll on him mentally compared to his collegiate career.
“I was just mentally and physically done,” Plummer said. “I knew if that [feeling] ever happened, that it was time to go. When it did happen, I was just fine with taking off.”
And by taking off, Jake meant moving to northern Idaho with his wife to decompress. He traveled around the globe and spent time hiking, skiing, gardening and even some yardwork.
If you spend even a little time with Plummer, it’s glaringly obvious that his interests are not just limited to football.
Six years ago, he created the ‘Plummer Helluva Family Handball Bash’ in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. Plummer wanted to lend his name to the game of handball, and introduce kids to a sport that develops hand eye coordination, spatial awareness, foot speed and lateral movement.
Plummer plays and supports handball, but he also started the ‘Jake Plummer Foundation,’ using his name to make a difference in small charities that he feels need an extra boost.
“I love football,” Plummer said. “But, it’s not what defines me. I never want anybody to say ‘Oh there’s that football player.’ I would rather they know me as a person.”
His five-year hiatus from football allowed him to reflect and enjoy the memories that the sport gave him, particularly from his time at ASU.Plummer decided to make the jump back into football realm by accepting a position as a Football Analyst at Pac-12 Networks.
“I don’t know if there’s a better job you could have. I get to watch eight football games every Saturday with a bunch of good people,” Plummer said.“There’s nothing like the game, but it’s fun to be on this side of it.”