Former Louisiana Ragin’ Cajun quarterback Jake Delhomme will visit his alma mater on Friday as the University of Louisiana at Lafayette’s Fall 2015 Commencement speaker.
He will address graduates and guests at the General Assembly at 11 a.m. at the Cajundome.
Delhomme, a 2001 graduate of the University, was a Pro Bowl quarterback in the NFL who guided the Carolina Panthers to the Super Bowl.
The 40-year-old, who is from Breaux Bridge and played at Teurlings Catholic High School, emerged as a leader early on as a Ragin’ Cajun.
In 1993, he was the only true freshman to start at quarterback for a Division 1 school. Over the next four seasons, and 43 straight games as a starter, he led the Ragin’ Cajuns to three winning seasons, and two conference championships.
As a senior, in 1996, he spearheaded a thrilling win over heavily favored, nationally ranked Texas A&M at Cajun Field. It remains the greatest upset in UL Lafayette football history.
Delhomme ended his college career as the University’s all-time passing leader, in both yards (9,216) and touchdowns (64).
He is a member of the UL Lafayette Athletics Hall of Fame, and the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame.
Underscoring the accolades is a career built on talent, work ethic, dedication, and perseverance.
Delhomme wasn’t highly recruited after high school. He had earned a spot on the all-state team, but at defensive back, not quarterback.
He wasn’t selected by a team in the 1997 NFL draft, either, and signed with the New Orleans Saints as an undrafted free agent.
Delhomme honed his game in NFL Europe, and on the Saints practice squad, for a couple of seasons. He eventually earned a roster spot as a back up, and bided his time. The Carolina Panthers signed him in 2003, and he led them to the Super Bowl in his first season there.
He holds many Panthers team records, including for passing yards (19,258) and touchdown passes (120).
Delhomme retired from the NFL following the 2011 season, after short stints in Cleveland and Houston.
He lives in Breaux Bridge, with wife Keri, and daughters Lauren and Lindsey.
Delhomme raises thoroughbred horses with his father and brother. He is vice president of the Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association.
Delhomme is a member of the Mid-South Bank board of directors, the LHC Group’s founders advisory board, and the Ragin’ Cajuns Athletic Foundation’s capital campaign committee.