Profile: 'The Quad' Star Jake Allyn

Photo Credit: Marin Hamataj

We chatted with Jake Allyn from BET's The Quad about his role as BoJohn Folsom, Georgia A&M’s first white starting quarterback. Check out our great interview with the Cornell University alum below:

Her Campus: Where did you go to college? 

Jake Allyn: I went to Cornell University located in Ithaca, New York and graduated in 2013. I studied History but in truth, I majored in playing football and chasing girls. But, I did graduate which is all that counts, right? 

HC: What can you tell us about your new BET show The Quad?

JA: It's a college drama following an eclectic freshman class and their faculty and athletic coaches. Viewers will get to see every slice of college. I play on the football team. We also follow a freshman competing in the marching band, a young rapper forced to go to this historic college. The show is anchored by our lead, Anika Noni Rose, who plays the University President, and how she carries her own set of personal drama. 

HC: How can you relate to your character BoJohn on The Quad?

JA: Well I grew in Texas, just like my character. We share a very similar background as it comes to football. For me, football took me to college and was certainly the only way I was able to attend an Ivy League School. Like BoJohn, I was an outsider when I first got to Cornell. Most of the freshman class was from back east, places like Boston and New Jersey. Similarly, BoJohn is only at this school to play football. He got into trouble in high school and was black listed from all the major football powerhouses, so he gets his last chance at this all black college. So, when BoJohn arrives, he's very isolated. He doesn't know anyone and isn't exactly accepted with open arms. 

HC: What was it like moving to Los Angeles from Dallas, Texas? What's your favorite/least favorite part of LA?

JA: It's not as flat as Dallas, I'll tell you that much. I was so  surprised by all the mountains and hills in L.A. Of course, there's also the culture shock. I've never lived in a place where people are so different from area to area just in one city. In Dallas, people in a North Dallas suburb are pretty much the same as people living Downtown or in Arlington. In LA, you can drive 15 minutes from Venice Beach to Beverly Hills and you might as well be on a different planet. Los Angeles can be overwhelming, the key is finding that area that best suits you. Once you find your comfort zone and make a good group of friends, L.A. can be pretty fun. 

HC: What activities were you involved in during your time in college? How do you think those affected life post-college?

JA: There's no doubt my four years on the football team have impacted me the most. Playing college football taught me more than any classroom ever did. Football definitely shapes my acting. I played wide receiver in college, so I ran after passes from the quarterback to put it simply. As a receiver, you have your playbook and your teammates to work with. In acting, you have your script and your scene partners to work off of. Both are crucial to have, but once that ball is hiked you just have to go. You can NOT be thinking on the field, you just have to react. Similarly, in acting, once that director yells "action", you just have to react and trust yourself and your scene partners.  

HC: What are some of your favorite college memories?

JA: Definitely some of the antics I'd get into with my roommate, Hugh. We were like the only two kids from Texas on the football team so of course we roomed with each other all four years of college. Let's just say we made sure the entire campus knew we were from Texas. Little known fact, Texas was its own country for six years and the Texas National Independence Day is March, 2nd. Hugh and I of course had to celebrate so we threw a big Independence Day party with any Texas beer we could find and a whole lot of whiskey and tequila. We threw two huge Texas flags out of our 3rd story apartment to let the whole campus know. The party lasted about 45 minutes until the police and fire department shut us down. Apparently hanging flags over windows is a massive fire hazard. So, apologies to the Ithaca Fire Department. 

Make sure to watch Jake on The Quad on BET on Wednesday nights at 10PM and follow Jake on twitter and instagram