Dayton running back ready to carry heavy load in final season

Dayton's Jake Chisholm runs for a touchdown in the second quarter against Butler on Saturday, Oct. 30, 2021, at Welcome Stadium. David Jablonski/Staff

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Dayton's Jake Chisholm runs for a touchdown in the second quarter against Butler on Saturday, Oct. 30, 2021, at Welcome Stadium. David Jablonski/Staff

Jake Chisholm on list of nominees for national player of the year award

Running back Jake Chisholm loves being the workhorse for the Dayton Flyers football team. He wants that to continue in his fifth and final season with the program.

“I enjoy getting a lot of reps and a lot of carries,” Chisholm said. “Whatever I have to do for the team, I’ll do it. Whatever’s working in the game. If it turns out that we can just throw the ball all over the place and I don’t have to get so many carries, let’s do that, but if it turns out we’re just going to ground and pound and hand the ball off every play, then let’s do that. Whatever gets us a win.”

Dayton will hold its first practice of the 2022 season Monday. The Flyers finished 6-4 last season and won their last three games.

Chisholm, of Union, Ky., was one of four Flyers named to the All-Pioneer Football League preseason teams last week, along with wide receiver Sam Bubonics, linebacker Ben Schmiesing and offensive tackle Brian Stevens. The Flyers were picked to finish fourth.

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Last season, Chisholm led Dayton in rushing attempts (235), or 63.2% of the team’s total (372). He also ranked second on the team with 30 receptions, trailing only Bubonics (34). Chisholm scored 18 touchdowns. The rest of the team combined for 22.

Chisholm ranked second in the FCS last season in all-purpose yards (163.9 per game). He led the FCS in rushing attempts per game (23.5) and touchdowns per game (1.8).

This summer, Chisholm was one of 35 Football Championship Subdivisionplayers named to the Stats Perform Walter Payton Award Watch List. That award goes to the FCS offensive player of the year.

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Jake Chisholm interview: April 1, 2022

Chisholm stayed on campus all summer, working out with 10-12 of his teammates. He spent most of his time studying for the MCAT (Medical College Admission Test) and volunteering at Miami Valley Hospital. He plans to be a doctor. He wants to specialize in orthopedics but hasn’t made up his mind yet.

“You kind of go through and experience everything and make your decision at the end of med school,” he said.

Until then, Chisholm gets to experience one more football season.

“It’s weird to think about because I’ve been playing for I don’t know how long — this is probably my 17th year of playing football,” he said. “So it’s the last college camp, the last first day of camp, the last first day of practice. I even felt it in the spring. It’s pretty weird. I have a whole season ahead of me, but it’s a few months away and it could be my last time playing football.”

The Flyers have high hopes of improving on last season and contending in the PFL.

“I’m excited about this team this year,” Chisholm said. “Offensively, we have a lot of experience coming back. A lot of those guys were in their first year of really getting to play the whole season last year. They got a lot of experience under their belt. It showed the last three games of the year. That experience really helped them. They developed a ton. I think we have developed a lot this offseason. I think guys put on a lot of strength, a lot of speed. They looked good in spring ball.

“Defensively, we lost some really good talent, guys like Brandon Easterling and Grant Dyer and Zach Rumpke and a few others, but I feel confident about the guys stepping up.”

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