For the Love of the Game
by Bobbi Maiers
UC Davis sophomore Jordan Hoyt had his sights set on college from an early age.
The fifth of seven children, Hoyt witnessed all his older siblings apply themselves in high school and receive college scholarships — it left an impression.
“I wanted to play football, and I felt working toward a scholarship was an important goal for me,” said Hoyt. “In 8th grade I started thinking about it, and I went for it 100 percent, and gave it all I had.”
His efforts paid off, with a successful high school football career in Chandler, Ariz., followed by numerous offers to play college ball.
“I came to UC Davis because of the coaching staff and the educational opportunities here — I wanted to excel academically, and I loved the camaraderie the Davis football team had,” Hoyt said.
Now, the 6’4, 280-pound defensive lineman says he loves competing and values the things playing Aggie football brings to his college life.
“I’m playing the game I love. I’m playing alongside guys I consider my brothers and I’m becoming a better football player,” he said.
Hoyt’s college football career is possible in part due to donors like Jack DeWit ’66. A former Aggie football player (defensive end and offensive tackle), DeWit and his wife, Bonnie, have donated generously to the football program in honor of their grandson, Jacob, who is 22 years old and living with severe autism.
“He will never be able to be a student athlete,” DeWit said. “So we want to do our part to support those who are able.”
DeWit grew up on a dairy farm in Southern California. Today he operates successful rice farms in Sutter, Yolo and Sacramento Counties alongside his wife and their sons Mike and John. “It’s a privilege to be able to contribute the way we have — hard to believe that 50 years ago I was the captain of the UC Davis football team,” DeWit said.
Hoyt said he looks forward to this Saturday’s homecoming game against Northern Arizona, as many of his family members will be in the stands to cheer him on in what he hopes will be a turning-point game.
“I feel like we are on the verge of something great,” he said. “We always want a win at the end of the day, but I really am enjoying just playing.”
Along with Hoyt’s family, DeWit will be present to cheer on his alma mater, supporting his team in spirit as well as through his financial gifts. “We seldom miss a game,” he said.