The dynamic duo of Slippery Rock’s offense will most likely return for yet another season of football together. In the upcoming fall season, Jermaine Wynn Jr. and Henry Litwin will likely use their extra year of eligibility to step onto the field again. However, if things do not work out, both men have had an incredible career at The Rock.
A Woodland Hills native, Wynn Jr. has overcome a number of unthinkable obstacles in his life to get himself where he is now. He focused on football and was driven after losing his father at only six months old and his brother a few years prior to college. Wynn knew he had more purpose in life, and even more determination to make a safer life for his mother, his siblings, and himself. The best way he could think of making his family and his loved ones watching from up above proud was to play his heart out every single game. After all, football was his escape from the world, and it gave him a fresh perspective on life after losing them.
His right-hand man, Conneaut native Henry Litwin, overcame hardship as well as he took a leap of faith on this football program. Litwin rejected thousands of dollars in scholarships from other PSAC schools in return for an opportunity to prove himself and earn his spot on the roster. This decision meant he would accept his fate for no money in return. His hard work, countless hours of practice, and rigor in the weight-room would determine the future. Litwin exceeded these expectations, now a graduate student and starter for the squad on a scholarship.
Although Wynn and Litwin come from polar opposite backgrounds, the two men share the same morals and love for the game. Both of these men have reflected on their favorite memory thus far and have concluded that beating Notre Dame was the best accomplishment yet.
“Waiting another 365 days to play them again was hard,” said Wynn.
This commonality was running through Litwin’s mind as well as he too couldn’t wait to play them again.
“We get better each year,” said Litwin. “We know that we can make it farther and we still feel like we can make it to the final two.”
However, both of them feel like given another season they could continue to get better and win the national championship. These two are also playing again to give themselves another chance to shine as potential prospects to scouts and coaches who want to see what they have to offer. Prospective opportunities range from the National Football League draft to Arena Bowl games. If football doesn’t score them a chance in the NFL or an arena team, both men have academically succeeded and have a plan. Wynn would pursue a career in marketing and Litwin a career in safety management.
There’s no doubt that Litwin and Wynn are leaders on the squad and have set an example for younger players and teammates to come. Over the last two years, Wynn has served as a captain to this team. Litwin, on the other hand, led by example in the sense that he stuck out the storm. Even when he didn’t feel like it, he persevered because he knew he could accomplish big things at The Rock if they gave him a chance, and he has done exactly that.
“It felt like home here and I had better offers financially, but I knew Slippery Rock was the right fit,” says Litwin.
He knew that there would be light at the end of the tunnel. “I would encourage anyone who could possibly be in my same position to never give up,” added Litwin.
Both players also noted that Coach Shawn Lutz has instilled discipline within his football program. Wynn believes he will come out of college as a better individual because of Coach Lutz. Additionally, the aspect of family keeps the team closely bonded.
“It really is a family atmosphere with all of us,” says Litwin. He added that each year they grow together and get better, and that he feels confident that they could make another run together but this time to the national championship.
These men are the definition of relentless. To be relentless is to be oppressively constant, persistent, nonstop: to be relentless is a mentality at The Rock from day one. Coach Lutz teaches these men to be relentless, but is also big on the five-minute rule with his squad. Wynn stated that, “if you’re not five minutes early then you’re late.” This rule applies for practice and games but carries over into their professional life as adults that are on time for their job.
Football is more than just a game for Litwin and Wynn. It is the foundation of their lives and it is their motivation to wake up every day and be a better person.