Q and A with Jake Coon and Ben Marcus

Q and A with Jake Coon and Ben Marcus

By Ellie Lieberman
Sports Information Intern

The Washington University in St. Louis football team hosts Carroll University (Wis.) Saturday in the final game of the 2018 season at Francis Field. Kickoff is set for Noon (CT).

Senior linebacker Jake Coon and senior defensive back Ben Marcus reflected on the past four years with Sports Information Intern Ellie Lieberman.

JAKE COON
Saturday marks your 30th straight start. What's contributed to your streak and how do you think you've been able to remain healthy?
I've honestly just been pretty lucky. I came into the program at a time full of opportunity and all I tried to do was take advantage of it. The training staff, strength team, and team doctors have been incredible helping me stay healthy and actively work on injury prevention. I'm very cautious about what I'm eating and drinking during the week, and I focus hard on getting a good night's rest leading up to the games.

What NFL player do you model your game after?
Brian Urlacher. As a Bears fan I grew up watching him and loved the way he commanded the defense. I definitely don't possess any of the size, speed, or strength that he had; but I do try to lead like him and my hairline is quickly approaching his.

What's your biggest accomplishment on the field, thus far at WashU?
Being named to the D3Football.com Team of the Week was pretty cool. It was the Elmhurst game and my younger brother, Luke, is a sophomore defensive lineman for them. Beating them and earning lifelong bragging rights is definitely at the top of my list.

What's been a highlight of yours off the field?
Position dinners with the other linebackers are always the highlight of my week. We are hands down the biggest foodies on the team and have gotten quite experienced in tasting the local cuisine.

What's your favorite game you've played in?
Beating Wheaton this year was awesome. Having the ability to win against a ranked opponent here on Francis was really special, especially when everyone had counted us out.

Any ideas on post-WashU career plans?
I'll be heading home to Chicago to work in Private Wealth Management at Goldman Sachs after graduation.

BEN MARCUS
Saturday marks your 30th straight start. What's contributed to your streak and how do you think you've been able to remain healthy?
During spring ball before my sophomore season, I knew there was an opening at the safety position, so I worked hard in the off-season to show the coaches that I could fill that spot. I knew my playing style would fit well with the position and I think the coaches saw that too. After my first couple starts I gained confidence and haven't looked back since. As for my health, I credit that to our strength and conditioning coach Terry O'Neill as well as our training staff for helping me stay game ready.

What NFL player do you model your game after?
I would say I most model my game after retired NFL safety John Lynch. He was known for his aggressive play style and tackling, which I would say has been my strength throughout my career at WashU.

What's your biggest accomplishment on the field, thus far at WashU?
My biggest accomplishment was beating University of Chicago all four years I have been a part of the team. They are our biggest rival, so it always feels good to get that win. Also, I am from the Chicago suburbs and was recruited to play football there, so I know some of the coaches.

What's been a highlight of yours off the field?
I always enjoyed off the field experiences during football camp. From playing cards to all-you-can-eat meals to movie night after the last practice, camp has always been a fun experience. Especially coming in freshmen year to college for the first time, it is a good transition and allows you to get to know your teammates before the chaos of classes begin.

What's your favorite game you've played in?
My favorite game was having the opportunity to play in the NCAA Division III playoffs. My sophomore year we qualified for the 32-team tournament for just the third time in school history, so it was cool to be a part of that experience.

I see your brother played at Vanderbilt. What have you learned football-wise from his experience competing in the SEC?
My brother graduated from Vanderbilt last winter after playing five seasons for the Commodores. We never played on the same side of the ball so I didn't learn much about X's and O's from him. However, what I did learn was that anyone can compete at any level if they are willing to put in the effort. Nathan put in the time and effort to be a state champion in high school and to draw attention to himself from power-5 football programs. Seeing him have the success that he had helped me to believe in myself and ultimately earn the accolades that I have throughout high school and college.

Any ideas on post-WashU career plans?
I hope to use my degree in Finance and Economics to find a job in Chicago doing something I don't hate.