Jacob “Jake” Dolegala is a professional football player who plays quarterback for the Cincinnati Bengals of the National Football League (NFL). Ever since he was a kid, Jake’s goal was to become a professional football player. His passion for the game was heavily influenced by his grandfather, Al Bemiller, who was a member of the 1959 Syracuse Orangemen’s National Championship team and an offensive lineman for the Buffalo Bills from 1961-1969. Jake grew up in Hamburg, New York, a suburb outside Buffalo, and attended St. Francis High School. Due to a shoulder injury to his throwing shoulder, Jake then played one season at Milford Academy, a prep school in New Berlin, NY, known for producing NFL talent. After leaving Milford, Jake followed his only scholarship opportunity to Central Connecticut State University (CCSU).
Upon his enrollment at CCSU, Jake’s presence was immediately known. He took over the reigns at quarterback in only the second game of his true freshman year. In his Junior campaign, Jake would lead his team to capture their first Northeastern Conference title and FCS playoff birth in almost a decade. While at CCSU, Jake culminated one of the program’s most prolific careers. As a four-year starter, he finished his tenure with the Blue Devils as the school’s record holder in total passing yards (8,129) and total passing touchdowns (48). He is also the fifth quarterback in the history of the Northeastern Conference to pass for over 8,000 yards.
Once he graduated in December of 2018 with a degree in Biology, Jake quickly turned his attention back to the gridiron to follow in his grandfather’s footsteps. Jake was able to turn the heads of NFL scouts and put himself on their radar due to his impeccable size, raw athleticism, mental cognition, and elite arm strength. After not being selected in the 2019 NFL Draft, Jake signed as a free agent with the Cincinnati Bengals, which afforded him the chance to turn his passion into his profession.
Although faced with adversity throughout his life with a short high school career, only one scholarship offer and going undrafted, Jake has never strayed from his goal. His fierce competitive mentality coupled with an impeccable football acumen has led him to where he is now. Jake aims to continue pursuing his dream in aiding the Bengals get back to winning championships by being the best quarterback and teammate he can be on and off the field.