Vince Lombardi once famously said, “It’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get up.”
Despite being beset by a string of injuries throughout his football career, former Frontier High and Bakersfield College standout Jasmit (Jazz) Thind has never let anything keep him down.
Over the course of Thind’s prep and junior college career, he continually displayed an uncommon determination to overcome the physical setbacks that came his way.
That perseverance paid off earlier this summer when the 6-foot-1 ½, 200-pound wide receiver was offered a scholarship to play at West Texas A&M, an NCAA Division II school that competes in the Lone Star Conference.
“I’m really excited about it,” Thind said. “I’m blessed. I can’t thank God enough. I just want a chance to show what I got.”
Last year as a sophomore, Thind had 25 receptions for 354 yards and two touchdowns for BC.
His production was at its highest late in the season as he snagged 16 receptions for 188 yards during the Renegades’ final three games. During BC’s second-to-last home game, he posted career-highs in both receptions (seven) and receiving yards (100).
“It was the first time since my sophomore year of high school that I stayed healthy the entire year,” Thind said. “That was a big accomplishment for me.”
Though Thind’s BC career ended on a high note, it didn’t start off very smoothly.
He grayshirted his first year with the Renegades due to a nagging hamstring injury.
The following season, Thind played in only three games after he twisted his knee and suffered a bone contusion during BC’s season opener against Riverside.
Thind’s high school varsity career was also curtailed by injuries.
His junior season he saw limited action, recording 17 catches for 249 yards and a touchdown as Frontier won the Southwest Yosemite League championship.
Following a strong offseason workout regime, Thind entered his senior year with high expectations.
However, early in the Titans’ second game of the year against Lompoc, he went down with an inverted ankle sprain.
“I got caught up in a tackle and some guy rolled up on my ankle,” Thind said. “That injury lingered for the rest of the season because I never got a chance to heal.”
Late in the season, still sore from the ankle injury, Thind had his collarbone broken returning a kickoff against Stockdale.
Despite the injuries, Thind performed brilliantly when he wasn’t on the sideline. He led Frontier in receptions (36), receiving yards (489) and receiving touchdowns (five).
Thind’s best effort of the season came against league rival Liberty when he had interception return for a touchdown while notching 89 yards receiving including a 42-yard TD catch.
Having his senior season abbreviated because of the broken collar bone, Thind went on to graduate from Frontier with a 4.2 grade-point average and then enrolled at BC.
“I didn’t want to end my football career on that note,” Thind said. “That’s why I decided to play in junior college.”
Now, completely healthy, faster and stronger than ever, Thind is ready for the challenge of playing at West Texas A&M.
Thind is a rarity, an Asian-Indian playing college football.
“You don’t see a lot of Indians playing football, for sure” Thind said. “They play mostly basketball. I don’t know. I just fell in love with football. I like scoring touchdowns and I like the adrenaline rush that football gives me.”