Jake Wieneke has been rewriting the history books this season.
The list of honors Wieneke has accumulated in his three years on the football field is lengthy. The Associated Press, American Football Coaches Association, STATS and the Missouri Valley Conference placed Wieneke on their first teams in 2015.
In just his third season, Wieneke is now the South Dakota State career receiving leader with 3,944 yards, breaking Jeff Tiefenthalers’ career yardage record, which stood for 30 years.
“It’s a blessing because there has been a lot of great people coming through this school and this league,” Wieneke said.
In all three years that Wieneke has seen the field, he has turned in 1,000-yard receiving seasons.
In the 49-24 win over the Missouri State Bears on November 5th, 2016, Wieneke became the Missouri Valley Football leader in career receiving yards. Wieneke overtook a record of 3,876 career yardage previously set by Dedric Ward, who played for Northern Iowa from 1993-1996. Ward went on to play in the NFL for several teams, such as the New York Jets, Miami Dolphins, Baltimore Ravens, New England Patriots and Dallas Cowboys.
Wieneke leads the FCS in touchdown receptions with 14, and doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. He is sixth in receiving yards, and teammate Dallas Goedert is second. Wieneke is sixth in receiving yards per game as well.
He has 41 career receiving touchdowns, which broke the SDSU record that was at 32 and is tied for the MVFC record.
He needs 15 more receptions this season to turn in the highest reception total in school history, and 18 to become the Jackrabbit with the most career receptions.
The standout receiver is also on pace to surpass his previous yearly receiving yardage total of 1,472, which is the second highest total in school history. His yardage total stands at 1,068 on the year.
But Jake Wieneke isn’t concerned about breaking records — he isn’t even aware of what records he has broken.
“I don’t even know what records I have broken, like maybe the yards one but people come up to me and congratulate me on it,” Wieneke said.
For the receiver, it’s not just school records he is toppling. Wieneke has recorded 21 games in which he has had more than 100 receiving yards, seven shy of the FCS record set by the stand-out receiver Terrell Hudgins, who played for the Elon Phoenix. Hudgins was signed to the Dallas Cowboys practice squad and played for the AFL Chicago Rush.
Also, Wieneke has set four of the 10 top single-game receiving yards with his best career 205-yard performance against Southern Utah in 2015.
In the offseason, Wieneke was a preseason first-team All-American and a member of the FCS Offensive Player of Year watchlist. Taryn Christion and Dallas Goedert were also added to the watchlist in the middle of the season.
Perhaps the biggest play of the season so far for the Jackrabbits came in the Dakota Marker with five seconds remaining. Wieneke beat the coverage of the Bison cornerback Jalen Allison and put the Jacks on top to win the rivalry game.
“The ball was in the air and I knew I had to catch it,” Wieneke said.
Not only does Wieneke excel on the football field but also in the classroom. He has been on the MVFC Honor Roll in 2013, 2014 and 2015. Wieneke was also a recipient of the MVFC Commissioner’s Academic Excellence Award in both 2014 and 2015.
“He’s a better person than he is a student or athlete,” said Jackrabbit head coach John Stiegelmeier on his radio show.
Wieneke said he isn’t concerned about his yards or touchdowns, just putting his team in the best position to win.
“I’m just going to do anything to help the team win, and not worry about breaking those records ‘cause in the process those things will happen,” Wieneke said.