BEVERLY, Mass. — To the casual observer watching this weekend's Harvard—Yale Game, it may be difficult to pinpoint Jake Pelletier's '17 (Trumbull, Conn.) direct impact on the second-oldest rivalry in college football. His imprint, however, will be scattered all throughout the 136th edition of "The Game" — as it's most often referred to — when it hits ESPN's airwaves on Saturday at 12 PM.
Potentially unknown to some Gull Nation fans, Pelletier, who was a standout four-year member of the Endicott football program from 2013-16, currently serves as the Director of Recruiting at Yale University. It's a role that encompasses MANY responsibilities, which summed up, in short, is a role that handles all recruiting operations for the football program. Furthermore, his position helps set the table for future student-athlete success and overall program growth at the university.
Some of Pelletier's responsibilities include coordinating all prospect camps over the summer, junior day events, official visits, and unofficial visits. He also is in charge of implementing new recruiting ideas to give the program an edge when it comes to attracting top-level recruits to Yale; creates daily/weekly recruiting reports for the football staff; watches highlight tapes and gathers academic information from specific recruiting areas; and maintains and develops top prospect lists by position/area to keep all coaches informed.
Sounds like a lot, right?
Well, in addition to that, Pelletier serves as the Special Teams Quality Control coach. He is responsible for creating scout cards, breaking down opponents' film, running scout teams, and assisting the Special Teams Coordinator in creating a game plan on a weekly basis.
IT CERTAINLY IS A LOT, but the Director of Recruiting role at Yale is one that Pelletier passionately enjoys.
"This role has so many positives! I've always loved the game of football and always pictured myself working in this profession,' said Pelletier. "From a recruiting standpoint, just being able to make a positive impact on a kid's life is really gratifying. Especially being at Yale, you get the best of both worlds, Division 1 athletics with the potential to play in the NFL and a top-level education. I also love the challenge of searching nation-wide for the best student-athletes in the country and being able to build relationships with so many different people."
WANTING THE WORK MORE THAN THE REWARD
Pelletier's journey to his current position with Yale is rooted in a lot of hard work.
A. LOT. OF. HARD. WORK.
A quick look at his resume showcases an upward trajectory in his responsibilities at Yale from August 2017 until now.
His first role with the football program encompassed him being a Recruiting Assistant and Operations Staff member. In that role, Pelletier did everything from breaking down film, communicating with recruits, game day operations, day-to-day practice set up and break down, giving tours for official visits with recruits, managing prospects for four coaches, creating graphics in Photoshop for use on social media, and research-related projects.
Pelletier served in that role for a year before he moved up to the position of Assistant Director of Recruiting and Special Teams Quality Control. As is the pattern here, Pelletier made an impact in many areas including film breakdown, coordinating all on-campus visits, assisting in the operations of summer prospect camps, creating weekly and daily recruiting reports, producing weekly opponent scouting reports for all Special Teams units, breakdown of opponent Special Team film, worked directly with the program's head coach to develop a game plan on a weekly basis, and running the Special Teams scout units during practice.
"I think I have been able to move up at Yale because of my work ethic and being dedicated. Just like any business out there, you need to perform at a consistently high level and have to gain trust, and I think I provided that," said Pelletier. "I was able to come up with some good ideas that helped our recruiting department and put in the extra hours whenever I could! At the end of the day, hard work and reliability are what got me here and those aspects are crucial not only in football, but in any industry."
ENDICOTT EXPERIENCE PAVES THE WAY FOR FUTURE SUCCESS
There's no question that Endicott's academic model — which requires all students to complete three internships prior to graduation — is a differentiator in higher education.
For Pelletier, it laid the groundwork for his current successes at Yale University.
Pelletier graduated from Endicott in 2017 with a Bachelor of Science in Sport Management and a minor in Business Administration. He also completed one of his internships with the Beverly High School Athletic Department and his other two internships at Webster Bank Arena, the first as a member of the Facility Team and the second as a member of the Gameday Management Team for the Bridgeport Sound Tigers and Fairfield University basketball.
Alongside those internships, Pelletier worked with the organization called National Prospect ID after graduation, prior to finding his footing at Yale. National Prospect ID is an organization that helps athletes get recruited by college programs.
According to Pelletier, all of those experiences were instrumental in setting the foundation for his current success.
"My internships were extremely important in leading me to my role at Yale. They not only got me exposure as a professional in the sports industry, but I learned skills that I apply in my everyday life here," said Pelletier. "For example, at Beverly High School, I managed itineraries for multiple sports teams and planned meetings for the Athletic Director. Now, at Yale, I create itineraries for recruits and plan meetings for our head coach. I never would have thought my internships would correlate to my dream job, but they've helped me immensely."
ON THE FIELD AT ENDICOTT
Pelletier enjoyed a ton of individual and team success as a Gull, which was highlighted by him and his teammates winning the 2013 New England Football Conference (NEFC) championship.
As a program over his four years at The Nest, Endicott posted a 23-18 overall record (.561) and 21-7 mark in league play (.750).
Individually, Pelletier played in 35 games compiling 88 catches for 1,036 yards and 11 touchdowns.
He currently ranks No. 10 all-time in receiving yards and catches, and tied for ninth in receiving touchdowns.
Meanwhile, as a return specialist, Pelletier is fourth all-time in punt return yards (285), third in punt returns (36), tied third in punt return touchdowns (one), and eighth in average yards per punt return (7.92).
"I wouldn't be who I am today without Endicott. As a member of the football team, I learned so many life lessons and also what it takes to be an accountable and trustworthy teammate, which I have taken with me in a professional sense," said Pelletier. "Being a part of the football team also gave me friendships that will last a lifetime. I still talk with my football senior class every day about the memories we made and the times we had."
Pelletier continued to discuss his experiences as a Gull.
"Endicott has allowed me to grow in so many different aspects. The high-quality education, the unity of the campus and overall, the personalities, made Endicott one of a kind," said Pelletier. "My roommates are still to this day my best friends, I always felt a personal connection with my professors and everyone there just seemed to care about one another. I had four amazing years there and looking back to when I was getting recruited there, I realize I made the best choice possible."
GULLS' ROOTING INTEREST THIS SATURDAY
It's not our job to tell you who to root for this Saturday between Harvard and Yale, but it's difficult to ignore these facts.
- Pelletier won't be the only Gull in attendance at the 136th edition of "The Game". Former women's tennis standout student-athlete Alexandra Barmore '19 (Southington, Conn.), who graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Sport Management, will be patrolling the sidelines as Yale's Assistant Director of Football Operations.
- The No. 24/25 nationally ranked Bulldogs have an opportunity to win their second Ivy League Championship in three years with a victory over Harvard.
- For the 49th time since the Ivy League debuted in 1956, one of the teams involved in "The Game" will have a chance to secure the league championship.
- Yale leads the all-time series over Harvard, 67-60-8.
- The Bulldogs also have won two out of their previous three meetings against Harvard, which includes 2017's game at the Yale Bowl where the Bulldogs improved to 9-1 overall and 5-1 in conference play to win the Ivy League Championship.
Need any more reasons to root for Pelletier and the Bulldogs on Saturday?
We didn't think so.
Go Gulls! (and Yale…)
(Photo Credit - Yale Athletics)
(Some information in this release courtesy of Yale Athletics)