Jake Constantine has been given the following titles in Southern California to best describe his varsity football career: sleeper, mobile and a legitimate future NCAA Division I quarterback from Camarillo.
But, even with coaches from up to 10 different NCAA DI schools taking the drive to eastside Camarillo to watch him throw the football plus universities in the Atlantic Coast Conference, Southeastern Conference, PAC-12, Big Sky, Ivy League and Mountain West sending him letters, Constantine has added this label: overlooked.
It’s because the 6-foot-2, 180-pound Constantine – who has 3,281 career passing yards, 34 touchdown passes and 10 interceptions in a Scorpion uniform - is still itching for his first official scholarship offer while his Californian peers in the Class of 2016 are beginning to stack the pledges or make their verbal commitments.
“Some people tell me it’s fun (the recruiting process). But not at all,” Constantine said. “It’s frustrating, but I just keep my head up and keep working as hard as I can. Hopefully, the scholarships will come and fall down.”
What helps fuel him is reading about his competition through various recruiting websites.
“That makes me work 10 times harder. I know that I’m right there with them and I just prove it out on the field,” Constantine said. “I always see that. I mean, I don’t really care about rankings that much, but it motivates me to do better and become better than them.”
It’s perplexing to see an offer-less Constantine, especially when he hits the field and carves up defenses like a Thanksgiving turkey.
Last season, Constantine became a dual-threat headache for Central Coast defensive coaches. He would sit in the pocket, unleash his right arm and sail the football 40 to 50 yards down the field for the completion or touchdown, all while igniting the CHS offense and fans in the process.
When he wasn’t staying in the pocket, Constantine ran amok on defenses and showed his Johnny Manziel side. He not only evaded pressure and scrambled for extra yards, but sometimes would run circles around defenses, wait for the open receiver, then laser the football down the field for the long gain.
As plays broke down and when rushers penetrated his offensive line, Constantine was at his best. His top statistical games were against Paso Robles (312 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions against the CIF Southern Section Northern Division champions) and Lompoc (317 yards, three touchdowns against an 11-1 Braves team).
Constantine didn’t take time off once the season ended for the Scorps in Nov. 2014. He got back on the football field to enhance his quarterback abilities.
“I’ve been working on my footwork and setting my feet right to help with my throws,” Constantine said.
He’s not only hit the 7-on-7 circuit with an appearance at the national Pylon Tournament in Las Vegas in Feb. 2015, he also devotes his time in the gym as much as he can, as he balanced baseball and weight training.
Also on his plate is interacting with different college football coaches, with the hope that one program will soon make a pledge to him.
“Since the beginning of the summer, they’ve been telling me to just come out to their camps and compete so they can have more one-on-one coaching with me,” Constantine said.
He impressed two Mountain West coaches at a couple of June football camps. Constantine said Boise State offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Eliah Drinkwitz liked what he saw when he threw the football in front of him during different drills. Constantine added that Fresno State offensive coordinator Dave Schramm and outside linebackers coach Jordan Peterson both enjoyed watching Constantine throw in front of them.
He said he's been very impressed with Boise State’s coaching staff.
“Just their energy on the field and their quarterback coach got me interested,” Constantine said. “Ever since I’ve known him, I’ve become more interested in that school.”
Constantine adds that he likes the Broncos’ shift and motion offense, which confuses defenses and leads to lots of points on the board.
“I just know you can air it out (in that scheme) and do what I do best,” Constantine said. “I can be mobile, stay in the pocket and make good throws.”
Still, a young quarterback living in a county known for producing Florida State, USC, UCLA and Mountain West talent finds himself having to play the waiting game for scholarship No. 1.
He’s had a strong support system which includes his family and former NFL running back Lorenzo Booker, who was a St. Bonaventure (Ventura) superstar before committing to Florida State in 2002.
Constantine’s other inspiration is his Scorpion coaching staff, who’ve helped produce Mountain West talent Jake Maulhardt (Wyoming), Corbin Covey (Colorado State) and recently Nico Lima (San Jose State) at CHS.
“They tell me to keep working hard and remember that those 5-stars don’t always pan out,” Constantine said. “I’m not too worried about star rankings. I just do what I do best.”
When Constantine does receive his first offer, he doesn’t plan on committing right away.
“I’ll probably play it out and see what my options are, just depending on what school it is,” Constantine said. “But I’m trying to stay humble throughout the process.”