Proud native of Akron, Ohio, 21 year old Jerome Lane is making a name for himself in the game of football. As a redshirt sophomore and after a position switch to wide receiver, he showed out on the field in 2015 assuring the University of Akron’s football fans that the best is yet to come. He even helped his team in their first bowl win against Utah State at the Idaho Potato Bowl in December. Although his success may come as a surprise to some, Jerome Lane has been known for his athletic ability for some time by many in the city of Akron.
“Growing up in Akron, I was always known,” Lane said during his interview. “Akron shows love. I would be the poster child for this city if I could.” Akron, Ohio can be a rough city, but there are enough opportunities for one to make a name for himself. With all these factors put into play, I asked him how he knew football would lead him down the road of opportunity. “Football has always been more fun to me than other sports,” he stated. “In high school, I asked God to send me opportunities in whichever route He wanted me to take, and then the football letters started pouring in from colleges all around.”
“AKRON SHOWS LOVE. i WOULD BE THE POSTER CHiLD FOR THiS CiTY iF i COULD.”
In his early childhood years, his father Jerome Lane Sr., played for several NBA teams including the Denver Nuggets and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Seeing his own father make it to the league only made his dream of going to the NFL seem more attainable. Lane’s father was also his basketball coach when he attended Firestone High School. He shared that his father always made sure that he was the first one to step foot in the gym and always the last to leave. This type of hard work is what motivates him to date.
Currently attending the University of Akron as a sports management major, he is showing great progress. “Akron is a small school, but not too small. It’s the perfect place to grow,” he stated. He claims to have had a great learning experience at the University, as well as a second chance that he feels would not have been available to him elsewhere. His versatility and ability to play many positions, including linebacker, safety, defense, and now wide receiver is what makes him so valuable to his team.
Lane’s success as a wide receiver this past season came as no surprise to him as he stated in his interview. “As a kid, me and my friends from the neighborhood would play Jackpot, a game where you have catch the ball with everyone around you trying to stop you from catching it. To me it’s just like that game; that’s what makes it fun and easy.” Patience and timing played a key part in his college career, and his change from number 14 to number 7 symbolized just that. “One of my teammate’s mom told me that 7 means ‘new beginnings,’” he stated. “I felt like it was only right for this position switch, plus 7 looks good on me.”
So what does the future hold for Jerome Lane? Now, as a prospect for the NFL, Lane has high hopes for his career. He says that he definitely has plans to give back to the city that he loves oh so much. Tournaments, renovations citywide, and helping Akron’s youth grow up to be successful are all things he has in mind to some bring positivity back to the city of Akron. “I want to bring back everything we used to do as kids,” he said. There are great things in store for Mr. Lane, and with his faith and hard work as his guides, soon the city of Akron will be congratulating and maybe even thanking him for all his success.