The sports world may soon have other Seaus to root for. Overlooked, understandably, in the wake of Junior Seau's tragic suicide last week is the number of athletically talented young relatives that he leaves behind: His nephew Micah Seau is a freshman linebacker at San Diego State; daughter Sydney, a senior at The Bishop's School in La Jolla, Calif., will join the volleyball team at USC, her father's alma mater, in the fall; and 11-year-old son Hunter is smitten these days with golf, hitting the links with Junior as recently as April. But most notable is Seau's lacrosse-playing son, Jake, who picked up the sport in seventh grade and who says he bonded with his father over learning the game's intricacies.
A 16-year-old sophomore at The Bishop's School, Jake has verbally committed to play at Duke. Just as his father was a multisport star as a teen, he plays football, too (strong safety and running back), but it's when cradling a stick that he shines. He scored 25 goals this season, including a hat trick in a rout of Columbine (Colo.), and he led his team to a No. 1 seed in the county playoffs.
Described by opponents as fast and strong with "standout athleticism," the 6' 2", 190-pound midfielder has attended Jake Reed's Nike Blue Chip lacrosse camp—a top honor that offers the chance to play in front of D-I coaches—and was selected to play on June 29 in the Under Armour Underclass All-Star Tournament, in Towson, Md. There, and later in college, the son of a surefire NFL Hall of Famer will have his own platform, in his own sport.
For Jake, says his mother, Gina, Junior's ex-wife, "it's never been about doing exactly what his dad did. Those are big shoes to fill. My hope is that my children have a balanced life and focus on the positive with respect to Junior."