Jesuit senior gained confidence after playoff performance last year
On a Jesuit Dallas roster that lost most of its top skill players to graduation, the name Jake Musso stands out.
Musso has taken a more prominent role as arguably the most experienced and more productive returning offensive player for the Rangers.
Catching passes and scoring touchdowns is his comfort zone. But the leadership responsibilities that come along with the added attention? Not so much.
“I’m more on the quiet side, but being a captain has helped me speak up,” Musso said. “I try to give them a speech or two before the games. I’ve never done that before. Hyping them up before games is something I enjoy now.”
Musso’s versatility proved valuable for Jesuit last season. He caught two touchdown passes and had four rushing scores. He even threw a touchdown pass and was Jesuit’s leading kickoff returner.
A year ago, Musso averaged 11 yards on his 40 receptions. But he’s become more of a deep threat early this season, with 16 catches for 237 yards during nondistrict play.
“He can do a lot of different things for us. We have him all over the field,” said Jesuit head coach Brandon Hickman. “He’s a tough player who has good hands and runs good routes.”
Musso showcased his quickness and big-play ability against Arlington last season in the bi-district round of the Class 6A Division II playoffs. He ran for touchdowns of 66 and 58 yards and later caught a 50-yard scoring pass, tallying 234 all-purpose yards during a 69-36 win.
“It gave me a lot of confidence going into this year, knowing that I could play at that high of a level,” said Musso, who has even lined up in the defensive secondary this year.
“Jake was a big part of our team and really turned it on in the playoffs. He ended the season really well and picked up where he left off,” Hickman said. “He’s not looking at stats. He’s just looking to win the game.”
Musso’s rapport with new Jesuit starting quarterback Charlie Schmidt dates to when they were teammates as freshmen. Musso played quarterback in middle school before transitioning to receiver for the Rangers.
“I’m glad I switched,” Musso said. “Getting together in the offseasons and summers throwing a lot with just us two developed chemistry. He trusts me, and I trust him.”