Coming from a football family, West Hartford (Conn.) Northwest Catholic tight end Jake Golic is used to the attention. Since he was a freshman in high school, there were always external expectations put on the son of former Notre Dame and NFL standout Mike Golic. But Jake had a bit of an advantage - his brother Mike Jr. So when he was presented with his U.S. Army All American Bowl jersey on Wednesday at his school, the youngest Golic was cool and calm.
"My brother has really helped me out a lot when it comes to the recruiting process, the U.S. Army Bowl stuff and I'm sure he'll help me out when I get to Notre Dame," said the 6-foot-4, 202-pounder whose older brother is a freshman offensive lineman in South Bend, Ind. "When it comes to the U.S. Army Bowl, he just told me to be prepared at how much faster everything is down there and to be prepared for that. He said the players are so good that you just have to work hard and be prepared."
Jake has been prepared for football all of his life. With a dad and uncle (Bob) both playing football at Notre Dame and in the NFL and with his older brother on the ND roster now, Jake has learned how to handle himself on the football field.
"I went down to the U.S. Army junior combine last January hoping to show that New England football is real and that I wasn't getting attention just because of my last name," said Jake, who was a standout at the event. "I get my work ethic from my family and I am always encouraged to push myself."
So when Jake received the news he'd be playing in the U.S. Army All American Bowl like his older brother did a year ago, he was beyond excited.
"I was thrilled and it's such an honor," he said. "To represent Connecticut and New England as well as my family and play in a game that is sponsored by the Army is a thrill. I was blown away when I found out."
Golic was also blown away when he received an offer from Notre Dame so he could continue the family tradition in South Bend.
"I don't have a great story like my brother's when he was at the Vatican and got a call from coach Weis," he laughed. "I was actually at home when I got the word I was offered and I was really excited. It was really the only place I wanted to go so it was a dream come true."
Jake received his jersey during a pep rally at his school and received glowing comments from teachers and coaches alike. And, true to his nature, the youngest Golic downplayed the attention and deflected credit to many others.
"I wouldn't be where I am today without the support of my family, my teachers, my coaches and my teammates," he said. "This is a big day for me and my family but it's also big for them as well because I appreciate them so much."