"I'm terrible about old stuff. But they'll drop me from the team if I flunk your course..."―Jerry Travis to Indiana Jones[src]
Jerry was a football player where he played as a running back. One of the poorer students in Indiana Jones' archaeology class, Jerry Travis was terrible about "old stuff", he was under the threat of being dropped from the team if he failed the course.
During a lecture on arrowheads, he attempted to impress Kate saying that he could easily estimate the age of an arrowhead according to how rough and crude they were. Hearing this, Jones put him to the test, asking Travis to identify the pre-Columbians ones. Travis failed to see that one of them was made in Japan in 1911 and another was forged by Indy himself.
Later that day he met Jones and Marcus Brody in the cafeteria where he spilled orange juice on the professor while attempting to beg for a better grade. Then Indy was angry at him for showing ignorance about of Jastro Expedition.
That night Travis attempted to approach Jones again when he saw him struggling and threatened on gunpoint by an adversary in an open top car. Travis tackled Klaus Kerner saving Jones's life, but Kerner got away. Jones told him that he had just passed.
Later, after Dr. Jones had been shot by Kerner's men at psychic Sophia Hapgood's apartment, Travis visited Jones in the hospital, hoping to help in Jones' quest. Jones put Travis to work by having him send some telegrams over to Western Union. Travis and Brody saw Jones and Hapgood off on their way to Iceland via seaplane from Long Island, then the two acted as Jones' communications hub from the school; during that first trip, the two were unable to contact Thorskald. Travis was left in charge after Brody received a cable from Hector Uribe and went to Spain to investigate. In the meantime, Jerry cabled Brody that he should go to Leningrad.
After the secrets of Atlantis were revealed (and destroyed), Jones, Brody and Hapgood attended a Barnett College football game. In the final play, Travis intercepted a pass and made his way for a touchdown, winning the game for Barnett. After the game, he presented the game ball to Sophia, in gratitude for her tip that let him know the other team's play.