Profiles In K-State Fandom – Jerod Eller

Profiles In K-State Fandom – Jerod Eller

The 12th installment of “Profiles in K-State fandom” features Jerod Eller. I met Jerod many years ago and we have remained good friends since we met. He takes the moniker “K-State Family” seriously, as he is raising his kids to follow in the Eller family footsteps of many generations of tremendous K-State fans.

Wanna read about a family that bleeds purple? You’ll enjoy this one!

JM: Tell me a little bit about your background.  Where were you born/where did you grow up and how did you become such a huge K-State fan?

JE: I was born in Manhattan, KS at Mercy, across from the stadium. I Guess you could say my fandom started from day one. I lived in Junction City until I was eight and then my family moved to Gardner, KS, where I went to grade school and middle school. I ended up going to Bishop Miege High School because my father worked there as a teacher and coach. I played sports, football, baseball and wrestling. Football Saturdays with a father that was a high school football coach, I grew up a K-State fan, and it was easy to get hooked in the 90’s as a young K-State fan. 

After high school I was always going to K-State for college unless I got a scholarship. My feet were too slow for that and I wasn’t big enough. 🙂

JM: Did you attend K-State? Did you graduate? What years did you attend?

JE: I attended K-State from 2001-2004. I’m a 3rd generation K-Stater. My grandpa Ramon (RIP) went to K-State in the 40’s and got an accounting degree. My father and his brothers all went to K-State, I think my dad graduated in 1978. K-State has been in our blood for nearly a century. 

Bill Snyder first took over when I was six, and started his turnaround when I was in the prime of my youth. We’d spend many Saturdays at games. We’d drive into Junction City to sleep at my Grandparents’ house and move our way to the stadium either in my Grandpa’s camper or my Dad would drive me and my brother. I didn’t realized we sucked for a century previously until much later. All I knew was 9, 10 and 11 win seasons. Cotton bowls, Fiesta Bowls, Liberty and Copper bowls, Etc. 

JM: Tell me a little bit about how you came to the decision to attend K-State.

JE: I wanted to be an architect out of high school. I ended up graduating with an Landscape Architecture degree. We lived off Ranser Rd. up by the stadium. I lived there with three of my buddies. We were close enough to the stadium to walk to the games, charge for parking, and have tailgate parties at our house. I loved my time there. We threw some pretty epic parties and we’d try to go to a road game once a year. We went to Ames, Austin and Norman, as well as KC for the Big 12 Championship game in Arrowhead when I was a junior.  

JM: Are you married?  Kids?

JE: Yes. Married for 15 years to my wife Julianna Eller. She a Wichita state shocker. We have four kids.  Jude (14), Max (12), Roman (11) and Scarlett (9).

JM: Are they K-State fans as well?

JE: Yes! We are a true K-State family. 
JM: What do you do for a living?

JE: I own a screen printing and apparel company in Lenexa called Rellec Apparel & Graphics. I started the company in 2010 out of my garage. We now have 12 employees and print for many area schools, business and teams. 

JM: What’s your favorite restaurant or hangout when you’re in Manhattan?

We love Buffalo Wild Wings and Hunam Express, but I suppose when my boys grow up where we go in Aggieville will change. In college we used to frequent O’Malleys and Porter’s, but they don’t know what an Irish Car bomb is yet. (Maybe one day).

JM: Do you have a favorite sport? Favorite K-State team?

JE: Can’t beat the Michael Bishop ’98 team. I was a Freshman in high school during the aTm loss when we got to #1. Pretty heartbreaking then.

I think Ell Roberson and Darren Sproles winning the B12 championship will always be “my team.” I was there in Arrowhead for the B12 championship game and we also drove to Arizona for the Fiesta bowl when we lost to Ohio State that New Year. 

JM: Do you have season tickets? If so, which sports?

JE: I used to out of school but with my kids being in the prime of their sports era I coach their baseball and football teams, so we don’t have time. I’ll probably get them after they are out of the house or in high school.

JM: Do you travel to K-State away games?

JE: I’ve been to many road games. Going to Dallas with my boys and my Dad to see us win the Big 12 Championship was pretty special.

JM: Do you have a favorite away game place or story to tell?

JE: I was in Norman with that car bomb went off and that fan killed himself.

I was also in Austin for the Prince stomp and the Jordy Nelson game when we beat Texas and we painted our chest and made ABC TV.

JM: Any negative experiences?

JE: Any time I had to hold my nose going into Lawrence/KU 😉

JM: What is your favorite K-State sports memory?

JE: There are many. The easy ones would be beating OU in 2003 in KC or rushing the field in 2012 after we beat Texas to clinch the B12 at home. 

Beating Pete Carroll and USC at home was pretty special, too.

My boys were little but Skylar Thompson beating ISU on the last play of the game to Zuber was pretty fun. We were sitting in that endzone so that was one of the games that got my boys hooked at a younger age.

But, I must say being in Dallas with my boys and my dad as we beat TCU in overtime was the best. Watching the confetti fly as my boys jumped in my arms, I could see my dad shed a few tears. Thank you coach Klieman, Deuce Vaughn and Will Howard!

JM: Who is your favorite K-State player(s), past or present?

JE: I think Ell Roberson and Darren Sproles will always be. My college years players hold a special place in my heart.

JM: Who is your favorite K-State coach(es), past or present?

JE: Gotta love Bill, but love what Klieman and Tang are doing. I think Gene is the best AD we’ve ever had and it’s not close.  

JM: If you had to guess, what percentage of your wardrobe is purple?

JE: Oh probably 25% these days because the Chiefs red and Prince of Peace (my kid’s school) has taken over my wardrobe 😭 

JM: What does the “K-State Family” mean to you?

JE: I’m a third generation Wildcat, but also my three college roommates, and three of my Architecture classmates were in my wedding and I still keep in very close contact with many of them. It’s deeper than wins and losses, it’s chapters of our lives and reasons to stay in touch.

JM: Anything else you’d like to add?

JE: Thank you K-State for many memorable times and helping to form the man that I am today. 

JM: Here are some additional pictures that Jerod submitted…

Follow Jerod here:
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If you would like to nominate someone to be featured in “Profiles in K-State fandom,” please message me and I’ll reach out to them. Thanks!

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