Chicago pride runs in his blood. Born in the northwest side of the city, Kevin Jarvis appreciates the impact his hometown has on his identity. For this reason, playing football means representing more than just himself – he represents a community and a unique culture.
Kevin began playing football in the first grade at Shabbona Park. His love for the game was instantaneous. Immediately, he fell in love with the brotherhood, competition, and character development that results from being part of a team.
Throughout high school, he was fortunate enough to play for a program with reoccurring success. During his years on varsity, the team never lost more than three games in an entire season. However, their record took a turn for the worse during his season year; the team found themselves with a 6-3 record.
The record was good enough to make the playoffs, but the team’s standard was far higher than squeezing into the playoffs. Their goal was to leave with a legacy as one of the most legendary teams to come through Maine South. With an expectation for excellence, they decided to settle for nothing for less than a championship.
“I honestly believe that there was no other high school team like ours in the country,” says Kevin.
This new mindset brought a different level of intensity to the playoffs. Each week, they annihilated their opponents and finished with a 10-3 record. But, the job was far from over: they still wanted the ultimate victory.
The state championship game was set – Maine South versus Loyola – and the anticipation reached an all-time high. Loyola would be the hardest challenge Kevin and his team faced - they were undefeated over the past thirty games and had every intention to make it thirty-one.
While excitement and attention surrounding the game skyrocketed, the players managed to block out distractions. At kickoff, they were focused on only one thing: finishing the job.
When the final whistle blew, Loyola’s win-streak finally came to an end. Maine South walked off the field with the championship trophy. Their comeback was complete.
Kevin’s recruitment process was slightly less dramatic than his final football season. Offers started pouring in during the fall of his junior year (including Michigan, Tennessee, Florida, and Auburn) but in February, a team offered that could not be passed over.
On March 31, 2016, Kevin announced his commitment to Michigan State University. The Spartans have everything Kevin wants in a team: a family atmosphere, successful program, opportunity to start early, and great education.
Often times, people believe college athletes are proficient in every aspect and have little need for improvement. On Saturdays, they appear to have each situation perfectly under control. But, that is far from the truth. Behind closed doors, players study and practice for hours. Because of their intense preparation, they maintain a confident appearance on game days and know exactly how to react to their opponent’s plays.
In college, Kevin wants to improve on everything. By working to better himself, he will be able to make an impact on the field and achieve his goals of helping to improve the offensive and defensive line and getting the Spartans back to the college football playoffs.
Kevin is extremely successful and has a bright future ahead, yet remains humble and amiable. Others may see him as a four-star football player, but in Kevin’s mind he is just a young man from Chicago. Undoubtedly, the city of Chicago is lucky to have such an incredible man representing them.
Kevin’s Advice: My best advice would be to work hard and remember where you came from.