HUNTINGTON, WV (WOWK) – Graduate of Cabell Midland and former star athlete for the Knights football team, Jakob Caudill is known for his talent on the gridiron. Now, he’s facing an entirely different battle.

Over the July 4th weekend, he took a fall causing him to suffer a brain injury. We spoke with his dad, Will Caudill who recalls the moment it happened as being a scary situation.

“He was unresponsive. My initial reaction, I didn’t really know; I knew it was bad,” Caudill says.

Jakob was taken to Cabell-Huntington Hospital where he was soon placed on a ventilator. His parents say they weren’t sure what to think at that point.

However, on July 17th, the hospital staff shared some good news.

Jakob’s father says they were told he could go off of the vent and start physical therapy where so far, he’s making progress. His parents say they are also celebrating every small victory along the way.

“He pointed at a water bottle and said ‘water.’ We didn’t know what was going to come out if he was going to be able to talk. That initial peace when they took him off the vent, it was just overwhelming as a father and as parents,” Jakob’s father recalls as Jakob starts to talk after being on the ventilator.

Jakob’s speech has improved significantly, but his father says doctors are now focusing on his gross motor skills, in the hopes he will be able to walk again on his own.

His father also says while he is back on his feet, he still has a long journey ahead of him but one thing he knows for certain “He’s a tough kid, he’s a fighter. I said he’s walking out of here and he’s going to.”