Each week we will feature a college football player who is either a member or an officer in a Uplifting Athletes Chapter for our Beyond the Trophy series.
College: Northwestern University
Height, weight, class, position: 6-6, 295 pounds, junior, offensive tackle
High School: DeWitt High School, DeWitt, Michigan
About Paul Jorgensen: A redshirt junior, Jorgensen is in his first full-time season as a starter at right tackle for the Wildcats. Earlier this season, before a plethora of injuries rocked the Wildcats, Northwestern was one of the top rushing and scoring offenses in the country. After two years of work on special teams and in short-yard situations, Jorgensen made his first start last season against Penn State. He serves in the role of president of the Wildcats’ Uplifting Athletes chapter. One of the top 30 overall players from Michigan and a top 25 rated offensive tackle in the country as part of the 2010 recruiting class. Jorgensen is an economics major and twice has been an Academic All-Big Ten honoree.
As a player, what is your favorite part of game day you get to experience at your home stadium?
Jorgensen: It is an amazing experience to sing our fight song after a win with our student section and band. It is a special thing we do with our students that come out and support us week in and week out.
What is your most memorable experience as a college football player?
Jorgensen: My most memorable experience as a college football player was being apart of the team that won the Gator Bowl last season, ending a long streak of bowl game losses. The entire experience is something I will never forget.
What drove you to get involved with Uplifting Athletes, and what if anything has this experience done for you?
Jorgensen: I was apart of the founding of the Northwestern Chapter of Uplifting Athletes and I was interested in finding a way to use my status as a student-athlete to raise awareness for a greater cause. Being apart of this organization has shown me how much my teammates and myself can do to raise awareness and funds for diseases that are commonly overlooked.
What is the toughest team you’ve faced or regularly play and what makes them so difficult?
Jorgensen: Every week in the Big Ten we face tough competition and have to prepare for a battle for the entire game. The entire Big Ten is a tough conference where every week is a challenge.
What is your chosen major, and what if anything have you used from that major as a contribution to your Uplifting Athletes Chapter?
Jorgensen: I am an Economics major and although it may not be directly applicable to our Chapter, I think the problem solving skills have surely helped me throughout my time as President.
In your words, what are some of the things you are looking for in life after football?
Jorgensen: I know that football will end and I want to be the most prepared I can possibly be for my life after football. I have learned many life lessons while playing the game and I am know I will be able to carry those over to my life after the game.
Besides one of your teammates, name a college football player you enjoy watching?
Jorgensen: More than focusing on a single college player, I really enjoy watching offensive lines in general. It is five players working together who need to be on the same page communication wise. It is dependent on teamwork and communication for success and I enjoy watching the offensive line work and how they play throughout a game.
Who is your favorite NFL player and why?
Jorgensen: I have always been a big Peyton Manning fan. I am impressed at the leadership he shows on the field and the way he carries himself off the field. He is a true competitor and has worked for all the success he has earned.
What was or is the inspiration for the Rare Disease your Uplifting Athletes Chapter is raising money for to be part of the fight?
Jorgensen: Our Chapter raises funds for the Ara Parseghian Medical Research Foundation in support of Niemann-Pick Type C, a rare cholesterol deficiency disorder. Ara Parseghian coached at Northwestern from 1955-1962 and led the team to numerous big victories while coach. His grandchildren are affected by NP-C and wanted a way to connect our Chapter to our University and a great cause.
What is your favorite road stadium to play in and why?
Jorgensen: There are quite a few road stadiums that are impressive to play in, but I do not necessarily have a favorite stadium to play in. All the Big Ten stadiums are pretty historic and each road game is always a challenge with dedicated fans and great atmospheres.