Jake Medlock wasn’t expecting life-changing news when, over the winter, he logged into a social networking account he had almost forgotten he made. He wasn’t expecting any news at all, actually.
The account, on a site for football players in Europe, was basically unaltered from the day Medlock created it about two years prior. But when he checked it during the offseason, a message from Force coach Paco Martinez appeared.
“I gave Paco a phone call and he said he’d been waiting on this phone call for two years,” said Medlock, now the Force’s quarterback. “I never went on (the account). I made it, but I never went on it.
“I gave Paco the phone call and I said, ‘Coach Paco, this is Jake Medlock. I thought about it and I want to give it one more shot and see what happens.’ ”
Martinez’s message wasn’t life-changing because it took Medlock, a native Floridian, to an unfamiliar location. He believed his playing days were behind him. Following a successful season in Germany in 2014, his first as a professional, Medlock earned interest from the Canadian Football League.
Montreal gave Medlock a tryout that he believed went well. When the roster was finalized, though, Medlock wasn’t on it and he eventually became resigned to never playing again.
“I thought I made it,” Medlock said. “It was 1 in the morning and I was actually in the shower, I couldn’t sleep. I got a knock on my door and I was like, ‘What in the hell is this?’ There coach was, and they released me. When they released me, that’s when I thought my career was over.”
Medlock spent the following year coaching quarterbacks for a high school in his native Jacksonville, Fla., and working at a facility for young adults with special needs.
Staying close to football and close to home – Medlock played three seasons at Florida International before transferring to Valdosta State in Georgia for his senior year – was bound to give Medlock the itch to play again, and one of his fellow coaches pushed him along.
“He played at Georgia Tech, his name is Pat Clark, and he said, ‘Why don’t you just give it another shot?’ ” Medlock said. “I said, ‘Pat, I don’t know. I don’t know who will give me a call. I don’t have an agent anymore.’ I fired him because he wasn’t doing what I thought he should be doing.”
That brought Medlock back online and toward the connection with Martinez and the Force. He is a leader of the defending Champions Indoor Football champion with a roster with many players firmly established in Wichita.
Medlock has thrived with the Force, with 31 passing touchdowns and four interceptions. Last week he accounted for 10 touchdowns as Wichita put up a season scoring high in a 91-51 win over Dodge City.
Medlock’s success has him re-thinking his plans. He’s not done with football just yet.
“I was so disappointed with what happened in Montreal because I thought I did so well,” Medlock said. “I sat down with my family and talked about what happened. We all said, Let’s give it one more shot. Here I am, trying to keep going and having fun.
“If I’m not having fun, that’s when I’ll know to put it up. But I’m having a blast right now.”
Salina at Force
- When: 7 p.m. Friday
- Where: Intrust Bank Arena
- Records: Salina 0-9, Force 4-4
- Radio: KFH, 1240-AM, 97.5-FM