Coach Freeman has added a former NFL linebacker to his coaching staff at Thompson High School.
24-year-old Jake Ganus is bringing a wealth of athletic talent and experience to the Warriors as a well-decorated Chelsea High School football star, SEC college athlete for the Georgia Bulldogs, and a recent linebacker for the Minnesota Vikings!
While at Chelsea High School under Coach Wade Waldrop, Ganus saw time on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball. He took snaps at quarterback where he passed for 1,058 yards and rushed for 1,491 as a senior while averaging more than seven yards per carry; he was also a running back for the Hornets and competed at linebacker.
The highly recruited athlete's talents were evident early on as he made First Team All State in 2011 and 2012 and was named Shelby County Player of the Year.
Out of high school, Ganus signed with the UAB Blazers and took his talents to Birmingham in the spring of 2012.
During the 2014 season at Alabama-Birmingham, the 6-foot-2 linebacker was the leader in tackles with 70, he had a team-best of 16.5 tackles-for-loss, and he posted six sacks.
However, the football program at UAB was shutdown after 2014, so Ganus transferred to the University of Georgia for his senior season.
The Chelsea, Alabama native had 18 offers from other schools, but he felt at home with Coach Mark Richt and the Georgia Bulldogs.
The defensive captain started in all 13 games at Georgia and led the Bulldogs with 96 total tackles.
At the team's annual gala following the season, the Bulldogs voted Ganus Georgia’s Vince Dooley Most Valuable Player and a permanent team captain.
After posting impressive stats during his college career, Ganus was invited to the Reese’s Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama. Despite not graduating for UAB, he chose to wear his old Blazers helmet during one of the practices at Ladd-Peebles Stadium but dressed out in his Georgia helmet during the Senior Bowl game.
Ganus went undrafted out of the University of Georgia but was signed as a free agent by the Minnesota Vikings in May of 2016.
The linebacker was eventually released by the Vikings, so he has started his career in coaching; but he's not traveling to Thompson alone. The first-time coach is joined by his wife, Peyton, whose proposal on Sept. 19, 2015 at the 50-yard-line after Georgia’s home win against South Carolina went viral.
Jake and Peyton were high school sweethearts, and using the fame of the viral proposal for good, Peyton has started an online boutique, Thirty One Boutique, after her favorite Bible verse Proverbs 31:30, “Charm is deceitful and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.”
We wish Jake Ganus and his family all the best at Thompson High School and future en devours!