GREEN BAY/WHITEWATER (WKOW) – Back in 2014, the last time UW-Whitewater football won a national championship, they had a receiver on their roster named Jake Kumerow. Now in 2018, he’s a Green Bay Packer. Jake even had his first NFL regular season catch on Sunday. It comes in his first game back after getting hurt in the preseason.
“It felt awesome,” said Kumerow after the game. “I was pumped. Big time. Especially coming from 12 [Aaron Rodgers], awesome.
His younger brother, Derek Kumerow, was watching on TV.
“Yeah I was sitting on my couch going crazy,” said Derek. “I wish I was there. But, you know, he has his business to take care of, we have ours.”
That business is the Warhawks playing in the national semifinals, this weekend in Texas. Derek transferred over to the UW-Whitewater program from St. Cloud State. He even wears same #1 that Jake used to wear at Whitewater (and his hair is grown out, as well). Derek says he didn’t need Jake to tell him to go play for the Warhawks.
“He didn’t really tell me much,” said Derek. “I was here watching him when I was younger. So I kind of got the whole vibe from a young age. And fell in love right then and there.”
“We’ve been very excited the day that Derek came here,” said UW-Whitewater football coach Kevin Bullis. “And obviously with the connection with his family. And his sister playing basketball for the Warhawks [Courtney Kumerow played from 2009-2013]. They’ve got a great family legacy and he follows in that legacy. He’s a very talented young man.”
Like his brother, he was hurt much of this season. However, he’s seen more action in the last few games, and scored a touchdown this year.
“He actually hurt his AC joint,” said Derek. “Which, when I came back from my knee [injury] I ended up hurting my AC joint too. So… like brother like brother.”
The similarities, like the jersey number and the hair, aren’t a coincidence.
“[Jake is] my biggest influence,” said Derek. “He’s who I look up to most.”
“You know whether following in my footsteps or not, [Derek] is doing his own thing,” said Jake. “He’s out there to play. So I just wish the best for him and I hope that he gets some wins and has fun. That’s what it’s really all about, having fun.