For Quarterback Phil Jurkovec, Getting Waiver was a Weight Off His Shoulders
It was seven grueling seven months of waiting for quarterback Phil Jurkovec. The Pennsylvania native had to patiently wait to find out if he was going to be able to play in 2020. The Notre Dame transfer, needed a waiver from the NCAA to be eligible to play and avoid the typical one year redshirt that comes with transferring. On Monday, he received the news that he was cleared to play the upcoming season.
"I'm kind of giddy, I am so excited getting the waiver cleared, felt like a weight getting off my chest," Jurkovec told center Alec Lindstrom on the Listen up My Dudes podcast.
This whole process started in January, when Lindstrom hosted Jurkovec on his official visit after the quarterback entered the transfer portal. The center joked on his podcast that it was because he was host and the lobster roll they had that Jurkovec transferred. Jokes aside this addition was huge news for the Eagles, who landed a former blue chip four star quarterback, a dual threat who combined for over 11,000 yards during his high school playing days.
Once he was officially an Eagle, Jurkovec got in five practices with the team, before COVID19 shut down the program. Then he waited. And waited. And waited. Months rolled on, and the young signal caller received no answers from the NCAA. While neither the quarterback or his head coach gave much details on the process, the rising sophomore expressed his frustrations, "last few weeks have been rough" he told Lindstrom.
But right before the start of camp, he received the big news. "The first thing I wanted to do was call him," said coach Jeff Hafley, "because I knew it has been a weight on his shoulders." With that baggage gone, Jurkovec was truly freed. "I feel really relieved now." Now the quarterback whose eligibility, many believed would be a huge factor on the outcome of the upcoming season, could focus on preparing for that opening game against Ohio.
For Hafley the change in his quarterback's demeanor was clear and visible. "You can kind of see he's got a little bit of extra pep in his step," he explained, "and it's fun to see him this happy and getting ready to compete.” But for the young quarterback, this great feeling wasn't all just about him, he was also thankful for his coach Jeff Hafley, his parents, and AD Patrick Kraft for all the hard work they did to get him the waiver.
Now with the season in front of him Jurkovec is ready for the challenges that face the presumed starting quarterback. One of which will be a match up against his former team, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish."I have a lot of friends on Notre Dame. But they have been talking." Jurkovec kidded with Lindstrom. "I am really looking forward to that game."
There is a chip on his shoulder as well, as he feels that his team has been disrespected. He has seen the projections from the media that have the Eagles going 1-9 this season. "I feel like this entire team has been disrespected," he told his center, "I'm looking forward to what we can do this year."
You can check out Jurkovec's entire interview with Alec Lindstrom on the Listen up Dudes podcast by clicking here. Photo and video courtesy of BCEagles.com
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