By LARRY VAUGHT
Jacob Tamme will be at Boyle County High School Friday night to officially present a 50th Super Bowl commemorative Golden Football produced by Wilson to school officials.
The NFL Foundation is presenting footballs to every player or coach who has participated in a Super Bowl. Tamme played in two — one for Indianapolis in 2009 and one for Denver in 2013.
He was a three-sport standout at Boyle and went on to earn all-Southeastern Conference honors at the University of Kentucky. He’s played eight years in the NFL, including the 2015 season with Atlanta when he had 59 catches for 657 yards and one score. For his career, he has 247 catches for 2,360 yards and 11 scores.
Boyle coach Chuck Smith asked Tamme to be part of the ceremony Friday during a Boyle girls-boys basketball doubleheader. The presentation will be made at halftime of the boys game, which is scheduled to start about 7:45 p.m.
“I am doing to do it for him. I really didn’t want it to be a big deal or media thing,” said Tamme. “But I owe coach Smith so much, I’ll gladly do it.”
Boyle fans would not want it any other way, either. Same for UK fans because he was just as popular at Kentucky where he had 133 catches for 1,417 yards and 11 scores. He played in two bowl games, both wins by the Wildcats, and even proposed to his wife after the second Music City Bowl win. He finished his college career second in the SEC among tight ends for career catches and first on the UK list.
“The ball the school gets will have both of my Super Bowls on it that I have been in. Hopefully we get to edit that (and add another Super Bowl appearance in the future),” Tamme said. “It’s really a neat thing the NFL is doing and it will be nice to present it to the school.”
The NFL Foundation has a program for high schools that have had a player participate in the Super Bowl by providing them with the opportunity to apply for up to $5,000 in grant funding to support their football programs.
“We are so proud of what Jacob has accomplished. For him to play in the NFL for eight seasons is absolutely amazing. What a career he has had and how well he has represented Boyle County and Danville has been such an added bonus for our entire community,” Smith said.
“One of the many good things about Jacob and Allison is the way they have been so generous and willing to give back to their community. We are very appreciative of Jacob and Allison.”
Tamme, a fourth-round draft pick by Indianapolis, helped Boyle compile a 58-2 record during his playing career and win four state championships under Smith. He had 97 career receptionsfor 1,866 yards and 32 touchdowns. On defense, he picked off 23 passes.
Kentucky almost missed out on signing Tamme. He always thought UK was where he would go and was ready to commit early in his senior season when rival Danville upset the Rebels. He called off a weekend visit to UK where he planned to commit because he didn’t think it was right for him to put the spotlight on himself the same week his team had a 47-game win streak snapped.
That same weekend receiver Keenan Burton of Louisville committed to UK and then coach Guy Morriss withdrew Tamme’s scholarship offer. However, a few months later Morris left UK for Baylor and new coach Rich Brooks quickly reached out to Tamme and he signed with UK.
At Kentucky, he completed his degree in integrated strategic communications in three years and earned his MBA before playing in the NFL. He was named to the National Good Works Team and was one of 15 finalists for the Draddy Trophy in 2007 given to the nation’s top scholar-athlete. He was named SEC Scholar Athlete of the Year in 2007 and the national Fellowship of Christian Athletes named him the Bobby Bowden Award winner.
Now he remains a regular participant in charitable activities in the cities where he has played as well as locally. Tamme and his wife host the Swings for Soldiers, an annual golf scramble that has raised over $500,000 for Homes For Our Troops to help veterans who suffered major injuries while serving our country by building houses for them.
“We believe in changing the lives of those who have sacrificed while serving our country and our mission is to help build specially adapted homes for severely wounded vets and their families,” Tamme said.
This year’s event will be July 18 in Lexington and will again have celebrities that include coaches, players and media members.