Senior quarterback Eddie Jenkins and senior center Matthew Hermann might have been destined to be roommates. Or maybe it was planned.
"It's pretty funny, as soon as I saw the room assignments I thought, 'center-quarterback, what a coincidence,'" Hermann said. "I think [coach Bill Wagner] might have been planning for the long haul there."
Four years later, it's safe to say that the room assignment worked out. Before their freshman year, Jenkins and Hermann were on opposite teams on the baseball diamond. Jenkins reached out to Hermann shortly after.
"We were both seniors in high school and we had both happened to play in a baseball game earlier that day," Jenkins said. "So we texted back and forth for a while because we were both [going to] play sprint football for Penn."
During their freshman year, Jenkins and Hermann joined the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity, where they have both served in leadership roles.
"Our freshman spring, we both joined DKE," Jenkins said. "I was the president last year and [Hermann] is the president this year, and we were really able to bond and become great friends through the fraternity, being roommates, and sprint football."
On the field, both Jenkins and Hermann are committed to improving snaps.
"After the game, we'll go back to the DKE house and talk about what we need to improve on and what we did well," Jenkins said. "Since we're such great friends, I can always be honest with Matthew and let him know if there's something he needs to work on, and I think he feels the same way about me."
During their freshman year, they would practice taking snaps in their dorm. Years later, they are still practicing snapping the ball to each other in odd places.
"We joke about taking snaps in our dorm and practicing together, but [earlier this year] we were at the Belmont Stakes and [Hermann] made a snap to me from the C aisle," Jenkins said with a laugh. "It was a great snap because of all the practice we've done. We have fun with it."
Given their positions and the strong chemistry they share, the pair's friendship has helped the team succeed on the field.
"It's very important to have a good relationship between the [quarterback] and center. I never have to think about the snaps when I take them because it's so routine," Jenkins said. "Other quarterbacks will come in and complain about it being too high or too low, but that's only because he's so used to snapping the ball to me."
"I think it fosters trust, too, between the offensive line and the quarterback," Hermann added. "We are a link between the skill players and the line and that helps our team communicate more effectively."
When the lineup changed, Jenkins felt a tangible impact when Hermann was on the sidelines.
"When centers would change out last year, I'd feel it," Jenkins said. "Sometimes they'd come back too slow, so it's always good to have [Hermann] at center."
Hermann and Jenkins — the latter of whom was limited by injury to five games last season for the Red and Blue — are looking to return the CFSL trophy to Penn in Wagner's final season as head coach of the program.
"At the alumni game we wanted to score 50 points in celebration of [Wagner's] 50th year," Jenkins said. "He's been a great coach for us and we've shared a lot of great memories as a team."
Perhaps it's fitting, then, that Hermann and Jenkins will be leaving the program with the coach who helped them become great friends.
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