Current Award Winner
Jake Grove came to Virginia Tech in 1999. Lightly recruited and undersized he was determined to make an impact. After battling injuries his first year he found a home at the center position. His junior year he helped pave the way for Lee Suggs and Kevin Jones. Behind the blocking of Grove and his teammates Lee set the big east rushing touchdown record that still stands today. The 10-win season was capped by a victory over Air Force in the San Francisco Bowl. Following the season Jake was named 4th team all American by the sporting news. Entering the 2003 season Jake was named preseason all American and he did not disappoint. Jake started every game and was named a permanent captain as well as team MVP for his leadership on and off the field. Following the season Jake was named 1st team all American by every major organization becoming just the fourth unanimous all American in school history. He had his jersey retired by Virginia Tech after his senior season. The crowning achievement to an already impressive list of accolades was when he was named the winner of the Rimington Trophy. “To win an award named after the greatest center in the history of college football is an honor that will never be matched,” Grove said at the time. Following his senior year, he was selected in the second round of the NFL draft by the Oakland Raiders. Jake started all five years in Oakland and in his final year after rehabbing from reconstructive knee surgery was awarded the Ed Block Courage Award given to the player that overcomes the most to get back on the field. After finishing his five-year contract with the Raiders, he signed a free agent contract with the Miami Dolphins. In his first season, he helped pave the way for running backs Ricky Williams and Ronnie Brown as both backs topped the thousand-yard mark. He was named an alternate to the pro bowl. In his seventh and final season injuries began to take a toll. Passing up free agent contracts with Baltimore and New England because he did not want to move his newborn daughter, Jake decided to retire. Now Jake, his wife Katie, and daughters Emma and Caroline split their time between Forest Virginia and Atlantic Beach North Carolina. Jake enjoys spending time with his family and taking them deep sea fishing and on other adventures. He gets the most joy watching his daughter Emma excel on the softball field and Caroline on the basketball court as well as cheerleading.