Jake Luton's football career could have ended at any number of points in college. On Saturday, it continues in the NFL.
The 6-foot-6 prospect entered the college ranks way back in 2014 at Idaho, where he played sparingly before transferring to Ventura Community College. A big year there earned him a scholarship at Oregon State. He'd quickly win the starting job but suffered a thoracic spine fracture four games into the 2017 season.
In the 2018 opener, he was sidelined after one series with a head injury and later missed four games because of a sprained ankle. Finally healthy in 2019, Luton dazzled with a 28-3 TD:INT ratio and was one of three recipients for the Mayo Clinic Comeback Player of the Year Award. That didn't ensure being drafted but prompted selection to the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl. While even his short week in Pasadena was interrupted by injury, Luton showed scouts in attendance he was worthy of a combine invite.
Two months later, here we are, with the 24-year-old Luton getting a shot in Duval.
"There was never a doubt in my mind of wanting to play football," Luton said in January regarding all his injuries. "Again, I always wanted to. But there was some concern about, I'm running out of time. If I don't get on the field and show what I can do, it's not going to matter if I want to play football, because no one's going to know it."