Jake Carlock may be the last of the Pioneers — at least when it comes to the NFL.
The LIU Post product is an undrafted free agent with the Giants. He’s working to become only the 10th player from the school — and the first since running back Ian Smart in 2004 — to make a regular-season roster and play in an NFL game.
“It’s exciting to represent them,” said Carlock, who has been spotted walking around the Giants’ facility in gold and green T-shirts from his alma mater. “It’s a great school.”
What could make him the last? Well, the football team at LIU Post now represents all of LIU and is making the jump from Division II to FCS. The players no longer are the Pioneers; that team nickname is joining the Conestoga wagon and the musket rifle in the history bin. Beginning this fall, they’ll be the Sharks.
Carlock spent only two years at LIU Post. The Babylon native was a transfer from Stony Brook University, but in that short time, the school and the team made a deep imprint on him.
“Coach [Bryan] Collins, I can’t thank him enough for bringing me in and they treated me like family from day one,” Carlock said. “I really bought into what they were selling.”
As the football program at LIU moves upward in competition, it also will have to recruit higher levels of players to be successful. That should mean more opportunities to send players to the NFL. Division II players in the NFL are a rarity but FCS players are fairly common, so there could be others who follow Carlock’s journey from Brookville to the pros.
But they won’t be what Carlock was: a Pioneer.
“It’s pretty cool,” he said. “Hopefully there will be some Sharks in the NFL soon, too.”
Players from LIU Post (formerly C.W. Post) who played in the NFL
Tom Cassese, Broncos, 1967
Jim LeClair, Broncos, 1967-68
John Mohring,Browns/Lions, 1980
Joe Chetti, Bills, 1987*
Sean Dowling, Bills, 1987*
James Eaddy, Bengals, 1987*
Al Steinfeld, Chiefs/Oilers/Giants, 1982-83
Perry Klein, Falcons, 1994-95
Ian Smart, Bucs, 2004
*-replacement players during 1987 NFL strike