Star running back nears prestigious record

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Nate Bellville

Though the football season is nearing its end, one NMU football player is pushing for a career milestone and he only needs 293 more yards.

After rushing for a career-high 265 yards and two touchdowns against Northwood last weekend, senior running back Jake Mayon is so close to becoming NMU’s all-time leader in rushing yards. The record currently belongs to Steve Avery (1985-88) with 3,686 total rushing yards.

During last weekend’s game, Mayon dazzled the crowd on a touchdown run for the ages. After what appeared like the opposing defender had Mayon wrangled up for a tackle, Mayon realized that he hadn’t been ruled down by the officials after he landed on top of the defender. Instinctively, Mayon hopped back up onto his feet and ran his way into the end zone for a Wildcat touchdown.

Mayon is humble about possibly reaching the record, but he said this isn’t his main goal.
“I love that I may get it, but I feel like this isn’t my award at all,” Mayon said. “During the year, what I think about is how we can be a winning football team. It’s more like at the end of the year. If it comes, it comes.”

After finishing his junior year with 1,377 rushing yards, eight touchdowns and his longest career run of 75 yards, Mayon became the first Wildcat in school history to crack the Division II CCA All-Midwest Region team, along with earning the GLIAC Offensive Back of the Year honors.

With a full schedule split between football and classes, Mayon has only a little bit of free time that he can salvage. Usually, he spends most of that time with his younger brother, junior defensive back Troy Mayon.

“I have my brother on the team and I usually spend time with him playing video games and using any type of free time I can get,” Mayon said.

While he focuses all his time with school and football, he strives to be a positive influence at whatever event he’ll end up at.

“Being a good leader off the field is the most important thing,” Mayon said. “You need a guy who’s good in the classroom, who pushes guys with grades and everything else so I think I’m good at doing that as well.”

Majoring in political science, the Plainfield, Illinois, native is hoping to get into law school after graduating from NMU. He also has a “Plan A” seeking to perhaps transfer to get a scholarship to play football at a bigger university.

This season, Mayon is averaging 139 yards per game and also has eight touchdowns thus far.

He’ll get his next crack at the record on Oct. 13, against Saginaw Valley State University, with a game against Lawrence Tech University the following weekend. With five games remaining on the schedule this season, all signs are pointing to a new all-time rushing yards holder in the record book.