CORNWALL, Ontario - Jakob Loucks may be a little on the small side in terms of football players, but his dreams of playing for a major U.S. university would dwarf anyone lining up against him.
Loucks, a Cornwall teen who fell in love with football the first time he picked up a ball, is a starting quarterback for Canisius High School in Buffalo, N.Y.
The Canisius football media guide lists him at 5'9", and 165 pounds, though his father Jamey said his stature is now closer to 5'10", 185 - not exactly stats that will get you immediately noticed by university recruiters.
It's why Jakob and his family are hitting the road this summer, attending university football camps in parts of New York State, Ohio, Wisconsin and maybe even some southern states, to get Jakob as much exposure as possible.
Jakob's father Jamey said in an interview there has been some interest from division two and three schools in the U.S., but if the young quarterback wants to play division one, he was to get himself noticed.
"He's always had determination," said Jamey. "He just couldn't stop playing football as soon as he started."
At just 13 (he's 16 now) Jakob left his Cornwall home to play one season at the Niagara Academy, a fledgling football program in southern Ontario. He returned to Cornwall for a semester of school, but has spent the last year in Buffalo, at Canisius playing in its football program that finished third in the state last season.
He's a starter on the varsity squad, also doubling as a defensive back, and last season played a semifinal game at the famed Ralph Wilson Stadium, home of the Buffalo Bills.
The game drew 6,500 spectators, and Canisius fans and students paid tribute to Loucks and a couple of other Canadian players on the Crusaders team by loudly singing "Oh Canada'' at one point in the game, which was won handily 21-0 by Canisius.
The Crusaders were tough to beat last season, outscoring opposition 172-9 at one point. In seven games Loucks had 330 passing yards and five touchdowns.
"He puts in a lot of work and extra training," said Jamey, who said seeing his sun succeed so far from home is bittersweet. "Honestly it's a cross between feeling as proud as can be, and brutal at the same time.
"I never forced anything on him. This is all him. This is what he wants to do. He just wants to play college call, wherever that may be."
That question could be answered in the weeks and months ahead, but the Loucks family is looking for some help. It has set up an online donation site, to help offset the travel costs associated with attending so many camps this summer.
As of Friday about $800 of a $1,400 fundraising goal had been reached.
"Family and friends wishing to donate can do it safely and have the choice of anonymity or to proudly help Jakob achieve his goals," reads the site. "We are looking to raise money to cover the costs of attending multiple camps throughout the US and hopefully Canada.
To get more information you can find it here.