Mount Rushmen: Johnstown’s Staunch Defensive Line

Johnstown-Monroe Defensive End Jake Lusk embodies what it means to be great as an athlete who excels every time he steps upon the gridiron. This Sophomore stands 6’4 and weighs in at 215 pounds with a generous wingspan and boatloads of athletic ability. During his Freshman year, he accounted for 100 tackles and racked up six sacks as an All-District athlete. It is evident that he plays with poise and has a stout nose for getting to the football. Leaps and bounds ahead of those within his age range, Lusk is determined to set forth his strongest effort to help his team thrive.

One week before the season began, Lusk and his Johnstown Johnnies participated within the “Jamboree” scrimmage. As they strongly competed in a three way scrimmage against River Valley and Saint Charles, Lusk feels confident with their Week One matchup against Big Walnut.

“I’ve been watching film on Big Walnut to prepare for the game and I feel confident in our team’s ability to come out and set the tone for the rest of the season.”

Indeed, solid starts are important but it always comes down to the ability to finish. When speaking about some objectives the Johnnies have set in front of them the end goal is clear,

“As a team we’ve made it our top goal from the beginning of the season to win a state championship and improve upon last year by getting better day by day.”

Mount Rushmen

Jake Lusk and his collective of defensive linemen go by the, “Rushmen.” What began as a trivial nickname has stuck and truly personifies the superb ability Lusk and his pass rushers possess. The group of D-Linemen have been heavily influenced by the likes of Ohio State and Joey Bosa in particular.

When it comes to rushing the passer, Jake Lusk is relentless. Typically, he utilizes a three point stance when lining up in the defensive end position. Although, his stance may be subject to change based upon what his coaches believe might fit best. When asked about his preference between either a three or four point or sprinter’s stance he remarked,

“I usually use a three point stance to get off the ball but we might be switching some of that stuff up this year, we’ll have to see.”

In regards to getting upfield, Jake stated that his favorite stunt is the “crossface.” He stated,

“There’s really only one stunt that I partake in – when I crossface it’s fun because I throw off the tackle. Often times, he doesn’t really know what I’m doing because normally I’m rushing the edge the entire game and when I cross his face I’m able to blow right by him most of the time.”

A Versatile Threat

Lusk and his performance ability exhibit quite the spectacle. This instinctual defender has a knack for sniffing out the play and reacting quickly to his reads. A few college scouts from Northwestern and Princeton have expressed interest and reached out to him via e-mail and at camps.

An important element of Lusk’s gameplay has to do with his maturity that stretches far beyond his age. He understands that if his team faces challenges down the stretch they will have to rely on each other to step up and fulfill a role in order to succeed. If someone goes down due to injury they will have to,

“Jump in there and figure it out – some players might have play both ways.”

Regardless, Lusk understands what it takes to win and is willing to put forth maximum effort.

Creature of Habit

As far as intellect goes, Jake acknowledges that luck is what happens when opportunity meets preparation. When asked about what gives him an edge over his competition he responded,

“I think I have worked hard, preparation wise in the fact that I watch a lot of film, stay after practice to lift and consult with the coaches to ask them what I need to do to get better. Then, I work on it either at home or on the practice field.”

One of his coaches most treasured sayings is,

“Nothing was ever accomplished without enthusiasm.”

It’s important to play with passion and Johnstown HC Mike Carter understands that it’s important to keep everyone motivated. Another one is,

“Work hard in silence, let success make the noise.”

Lusk commented,

“The work that you put in after practice ends is important – you have to put in the extra work if you want to go farther. You cannot be satisfied where you are and you can always get better.”

Lusk definitely has a bright future ahead of him. After college he wants to,

“Make sure he can support his family by looking out for them and living a healthy life.”

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