A Non-Traditional Path
Jager competed for the Wisconsin Badgers and was coached by his current coach, Jerry Schumacher. In the summer after his freshman year, Jager qualified to represent the United States in the 2008 IAAF World Junior Track and Field Championships by winning the 1500 m in 3:47.43 at 2008 USA Junior Outdoor Track & Field Championships.
That fall, Jager signed a professional contract with Nike, forfeiting his remaining NCAA eligibility. He left the University of Wisconsin and moved to Portland to continue training with Schumacher, who had been hired by Nike to be a full-time coach to professional Nike-sponsored runners. Jager enrolled in Portland State University to continue his studies