Sunday, October 2, 2022

Kirtland’s Jack Bailey signs with Kent State

Kirtland senior two-way lineman Jack Bailey closed out his high school career with a state championship.

On Wednesday, the 6-foot-4, 290-pounder signed a National Letter of Intent to continue his education and playing days at Kent State University.

“I am very blessed to have the opportunity to play Division I college football,” Bailey said. “To me, it means the world that I am able to represent myself, my family and my school. It has always been my dream to play college football and now that that dream has come true, I need to get to work.”

Bailey committed to the Golden Flashes over the summer and never wavered from his decision.

“Since the minute I was in contact with Kent State to now, I can tell that something big is happening down there,” he said. “I can tell that these amazing coaches are making a change for the better and I really want to be a part of that. The atmosphere down there is like no other. These coaches just make it fun and excitable for me and I just can’t wait to make a difference for this program.”

Bailey already has met several current Kent State players and many of the other 2018 signees and he’s excited to join that group.

“I know I will be a great fit because all of the commits and I have one thing in common and that is winning,” he said. “Most commits took their team to a state title. Coming from a winning team is something we are all used to. Also, we all just got along great and I can’t wait to see my brothers again.”

At Kirtland, Bailey played on both the offensive and defensive lines. He is expected to play on offense in college unless the defensive coaches steal him away.

Either way, the Golden Flashes are adding a solid player to their roster.

“Jack was a great leader and teammate,” Kirtland coach Tiger LaVerde said. “He was very selfless and played multiple positions to help us in any way he could. He is a great competitor and played his best against the best teams when things weren’t going well. That defines his character. I really believe he will be very successful at Kent State if he continues to work hard and has a great attitude.”

Bailey is the first Hornet to sign with a Division I college since Matthew Finkler inked with Bowling Green in 2015.

Other Kirtland players to have signed with Division I college football programs include Glenn Farkas, who signed with Cincinnati in 1986, Rob and Matt Turner, who both played at Purdue, Anthony Ritossa, who signed with Akron in 2010, and Damon Washington, who signed with Miami University, and Christian Hauber, who signed with the Air Force Academy, in 2013.

Bailey leaves Kirtland with a state title and plenty of fond memories of his days as a Hornet. He hopes his legacy inspires his former teammates and even the future Hornets who will follow to put in the hard work to realize their own dreams.

“I think that I will be remembered as one of the greats in Kirtland and growing up, that’s what I was hoping to do,” Bailey said. “I’m proud of what I have done for Kirtland and I hope they are proud of me. I always looked up to the older kids when I was little and I learned a lot from them. I hope that the kids look up to me and see that working hard and grinding will pay off.”

Steve Hare
Steve Hare is the Chagrin Valley Conference's Sports Information Director. He also created and publishes, an online publication dedicated to providing hyperlocal coverage to area high school athletic programs. Hare began covering high school sports for the Lake County News Herald in 1997. Hare attended Willoughby South High School through the middle of his senior year, then graduated from Berkshire High School in Burton in 1986. He played football, wrestled and was an all-Geauga county baseball player (1986). He lives in Chardon with his wife Paulette and their children.

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