Name: Jason Emerich
College: Syracuse University
Height, weight, class, position: 6-3, 273 pounds, junior, center
High School: Blue Mountain HS, New Ringgold, Pa.
About Jason Emerich: A two-year letterwinner who mainly saw times on special teams as a redshirt freshman in 2013 before appearing in five games last season as the back-up center including two starts. The President of the Syracuse Chapter of Uplifting Athletes will be holding a Touchdown Pledge Drive for the Central Michigan game this week. Emerich is a four-time member of the Athletic Director’s honor roll, and was a Big East All-Academic selection in 2012 and earned a spot on the ACC honor roll last year for his work in the classroom.
As a player, what is your favorite part of the game day experience at your home stadium?
EMERICH: My favorite part of the game day experience at the Dome has to be the crowd. Playing in front of our home fans is one of the greatest experiences I have ever had. When the “Loud House” gets rocking, it’s like no other stadium in the country. It gives me the chills every time our student section starts the “Let’s Go Orange” chant, and the keys on third down brings a new energy to the field that is indescribable.
What drove you to get involved with Uplifting Athletes, and what, if anything, has this experience done for you?
EMERICH: Growing up in Pennsylvania, I’ve always been aware of Uplifting Athletes. When our former president, and founder, Sam Rodgers brought the idea of starting a chapter at Syracuse, I was instantly on board with helping any way I could. I have blessed with the opportunity to take over due to Sam’s graduation, and have been excited to create awareness for a rare disease that means so much to our team and community. Being able to give back to the community is an important role us as student athletes have.
What is your most memorable experience as a college football player?
EMERICH: My most memorable experience as a college football player has to be the Boston College game in 2013. To have the perfect stage set to drive down the field for the winning touchdown to make us bowl eligible is a memory I will never forget.
What is the toughest team you’ve faced or regularly play, and what makes them so difficult?
EMERICH: The toughest team I have faced would be Georgia Tech. It was my first time being able to play in a game when it counted. With the jitters of playing in my first college football game, and their stout defense on the road, made my first real college football experience 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?
EMERICH: My Major is Sport Management. I have been able to take ideas I have learned in the classroom to understand how to set up our first public Lift for Life. I was able to understand how to organize everything and how to get our message to the fans through our communication department.
Besides one of your teammates, name a college football player you enjoy watching?
EMERICH: One college football player I enjoy watching would have to be Braxton Miller, from Ohio State. He’s a tremendous athlete who had to endure a serious injury last year. That, along with a position change, shows how unselfish of an individual he is. It will be great to see him succeed this season in his new position.
Who is your favorite NFL player and why?
EMERICH: My Favorite NFL player would have to be Justin Pugh. I know Justin from his time here at Syracuse, and I know the integrity and skill sets he has. He’s a tough guy who is a great technician. He also is successful off the field, which is just as important.
What is your favorite road stadium to play in and why?
EMERICH: My favorite road stadium was Missouri. We played there my freshman year, and to be able to go on the road, and be in a hostile environment was a great experience. What made the trip sweeter was we won the game, and became bowl eligible.
In your words, what are some of the things you are looking for in life after football?
EMERICH: I would like to give back to the game that has blessed me with so many opportunities. I aspire to be a football coach. To be able to teach young men lessons I have learned from the game, is one of the main reasons I would like to coach football.