TJ Semke is not your ordinary college student-athlete. He plays defensive line for the University of Kansas football team and attends classes like his teammates and other KU students. But unlike his peers, he has a very unusual part-time job, at least it’s unusual for a college athlete.
Semke is a bounty hunter and says that he loves his job bringing criminals to justice. He enrolled at KU and joined the football team as a walk-on, first playing on special teams before earning a scholarship and solidifying a starting position as a defensive lineman. He is a health and physical education major and is on the school’s honor roll.
Semke says he wanted to be a bail bondsman after spending his high school years watching the reality TV show Dog the Bounty Hunter. His mother’s boyfriend happens to be a bounty hunter as well so it wasn’t difficult for him to break into the business.
He says he has seen just about everything in his part-time role as a bail bondsman and that because of his speed and agility, every time he goes out on a job he is expected to be the one to run down bail jumpers who try to flee on foot. He described doing so as “an adrenaline rush.”
On his first assignment, Semke says he and his team encountered a “jumper” who they had to chase through a house and onto a roof before apprehending him. They later discovered that the man had been doped up on drugs and had been awake for two full weeks.
Semke described the assignment as a great way to get his feet wet in the business of bounty hunting and says that despite the element of danger and risk involved, he loves going out on assignments and hopes they all are as exciting as that first capture.