Jacob Tiell is entering his last year as an Otterbein student-athlete, and it is certainly a bittersweet moment in his eyes.

Tiell’s eyes were first drawn to Otterbein for many reasons.

“Some of the things that steered me to Otterbein was the smaller sized campus that allowed me to engage with professors and become closer with classmates,” Tiell said. “[as well as] the opportunity to play football for a competitive university and coaches that seemed to really care about me.”

Throughout Tiell’s career on the football team, he has been a leader. Whether it be on the field or in the weight room, players follow in his steps.

          

“I have always been a lead by example kind of guy, whether it be in the weight room, at practice, during a big game, or even in the classroom, I try to set an example that my guys can look up to.” Tiell said.

Head football coach Tim Doup seconded Teill's statement. “He goes 100% all the time, and I think guys see that energy. I also will tell you that he might make some mistakes, but when he makes them, it is at 100%.” said Doup.

Once Tiell plays his last snap with the No. 19 on his back and “Cardinals” across his chest, it will not only be tough for the coaches, but for Tiell as well.

          

“We are going to miss him,” Otterbein football defensive coordinator, Allan Moore said. “His smile, his laughter, some of his jokes, just meeting him in the meeting room and of course on the field during practice.”

“Football was the first true love of mine," Tiell reflected. "While walking away from the game that has given me so much is going to be hard, I’ll be thankful for all the lessons I learned and all the memories I made.” .

Tiell is not only a star playmaker on the field, but he is also a standout in the classroom. According to Tiell, he is carrying a 3.9 GPA. That grade point average has earned him two Academic All-OAC Awards.

“I don’t think I’ve ever seen him miss a class,” said Derrick O’Conner, roommate, teammate and classmate of Tiell. “He understands the importance of obtaining a great education. Before anything else, he always makes sure his school work is done.”

As a double major in biology and biochemistry and molecular biology (BMB), Tiell knew that medical school was in his future when he first set foot on campus.

“I knew that I wanted to go to medical school and felt the need to have a science degree to be competitive. Out of the sciences available, I’ve always had a love for animals and the outdoors so I thought biology would be the best route for me,” Tiell said. “As I began getting deeper into the Otterbein curriculum though, I gained another love for biochemistry and the way our bodily processes worked, leading me to pick up a double major in BMB.”

The reasoning behind the decision to go into the medical field was an easy one for Tiell. Growing up, he was surrounded by healthcare. His dad started his own physical therapy practice, and his mom is a local nurse.

Maybe one of the biggest reasons to go into the medical field though came from Tiell’s grandfather.

“My Grandpa, who was one of the biggest influences in my life, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease when I was in middle school so seeing the treatment and help he received also guided me in the direction of medical school.” Tiell said.

When Tiell graduates in the spring of 2021, it will certainly be a tough pill to swallow. But as he reflects on his past years as a Cardinal, he knows he made the correct decision.

“Graduation is going to be bittersweet. While I’m looking forward to the next step in my future and my endeavors in the medical field, these truly were some of the best years of my life.” he said. “I’ve met some life-long friends here at Otterbein and have gone through the past 4 years thankful that I made the right decision in attending.”