Continuing on with our 100 day countdown to WVU’s season opener against the Alabama Crimson Tide, we have reached day 17 the number once worn by WVU quarterback, Jake Kelchner.
Originally from nearby Berwick, PA, Kelchner was a two-year member of the WVU football program, from 1992 to 1993. During his Mountaineer career, Kelchner made 20 career appearances (17 starts) for West Virginia. In those games, Kelchner completed 176 passes on 293 attempts for 2,589 yards, and 18 touchdowns. Kelchner also recorded 275 rushing yards, and six rushing touchdowns during his collegiate career. Kelchner appeared in just one bowl game during his Mountaineer career, which was the 1994 Sugar Bowl against Florida.
After spending his first two seasons of collegiate eligibility at Notre Dame, Kelchner transferred into the WVU football program in early 1992. As a junior, Kelchner appeared in nine games (six starts) in his first season at the school. In those nine games, Kelchner completed 66 of his 119 passes for 901 yards, and nine touchdowns. The Mountaineer finished the 1992 campaign with a record of 5-4-2, a win shy of bowl eligibility.
In his second and final season with the team, the 6’2”, 215 pound signal caller appeared in and started 11 of the team’s 12 games during the historic 1993 campaign. That season, Kelchner completed 110 of his 174 passes for 1,688 yards, and 12 touchdowns. Kelchner also had 166 yards, and five touchdowns on the ground to help the team earn the school its second ever perfect season. It was the second time in five years the team went a perfect 11-0 in the regular season, and it was the very first time West Virginia won the Big East conference championship in football.
WVU went on to close out the 1993 campaign with a 41-7 loss to Florida in the 1994 Sugar Bowl to finish the year 11-1 overall. Kelchner helped the Mountaineers record the team’s only score in the game when he connected with Jay Kearney on a 32 yard touchdown pass.
Following his graduation from West Virginia University in 1994, Jake Kelchner went on to pursue a career in professional football. He was first signed by the Las Vegas Posse of the Canadian Football League where he only lasted one game. Kelchner would spend three seasons in the Arena Football League with three different teams (Tampa Bay Storm, Florida Bobcats, and Grand Rapids Rampage) before leaving the game completely in 1998.
All countdown profiles of numbers 100-18 are still available here at WVUPros.com