Sophomore Andre Jolly, a defensive end for the Baker University football team, was named an AFCA NAIA All-American last month, the first Wildcat since 2010 and broke the Baker single season sack record with 16 this past season.
"This was not an original goal for this season," Jolly said. "My main goal was to get better on the field to help my team, focusing on more team objectives rather than for me individually."
He said that he was focused on getting to the HAAC playoffs and beating Baker's two biggest rivals, Missouri Valley and MidAmerica Nazarene.
Jolly came off a 2011 season as a freshman where he appeared in nine games with 34 tackles. He ranked No. 15 in the nation in sacks per game with just under a sack per game and 23rd in the country in total sacks with 6.5.
Football has been a love of his since before he could remember. He played football in middle school and high school in his hometown of Garnder, Kan., and is now living out a dream of playing college football.
He began his career as a wide receiver and running back, but switched to defense his junior year of high school.
"It was a big difference switching sides of the ball and took some getting used to," Jolly said. "But I like being the guy that gets to sack the quarterback and help out the defense."
Football has given him more than he could ever imagine and has helped mold him into a man; growing up to know he can succeed in anything he puts his mind to.
"Football has shaped me as an individual," Jolly said. "I am very thankful for the opportunities it has already given me, the relationships I have, and giving me new goals to work towards."
From drills at practice that break down each play so the defense knows what certain areas to attack on offensive lineman, to knowing he will be held to higher expectations by the coaches for what he accomplished this year, he is determined to go further.
"With two seasons left I have goals to win the HAAC title, graduate, and hopefully pursue football further than at a college level," Jolly said. "I know that with the breaking the single season sack record and being named an All-American, I will have higher expectations and want more for the team, but also of myself in the coming years."