HawgBeat - Arkansas State transfer Jerry Jacobs slots right into Hogs secondary
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Arkansas State transfer Jerry Jacobs slots right into Hogs secondary

Former JUCO standout and Arkansas State transfer Jerry Jacobs.
Former JUCO standout and Arkansas State transfer Jerry Jacobs.


Cornerback Jerry Jacobs said he kicked down the door and came to Fayetteville as quick as he could when he got the news. The former Arkansas State Red Wolf, and Georgia native, had always wanted to play in the SEC, and the moment his former junior college head coach Rion Rhoades offered him a scholarship, he was on his way.

It's not uncommon for an Arkansas player to transfer down to Arkansas State but moving in the other direction? Rare. Actually making significant contributions after the move? Exceptionally rare.

Jacobs is not only cracking the depth chart, but he's running with the ones and making plays that have wowed the coaches. He graduated from A-State in time to enroll for the second semester, but coronavirus got in the way of him showing what he could do until now.

"Ever since I came here Coach Pittman, Coach Odom and Coach Sam Carter have really made me go in the right direction giving me good tips on what I can work on and stuff like to help my draft stock go up," Jacobs said after day five of fall camp. "I’ve been making a lot of plays. I can’t tell you the coverages but I’ve been making a lot of plays at boundary and stuff like that. I’ve just got to keep going."

After a successful tenure at Hutchinson C.C., Jacobs, a 5-foot-11, 203-pound secondary swiss army knife, transferred to Arkansas State. He earned All-Sun Belt second team honors after a 32 tackle, eight PBU and four interception performance in 2018.

More was on the menu for Jacobs in 2019, until he was sidelined for the season with an ACL tear in the fourth game. He'd racked up 21 tackles on the season already but went down after 22 snaps against Georgia.

Though Arkansas has plenty of staff that coached at Georgia, and several players call the Peach State home, perhaps no one was more excited than Jacobs to see No.2-ranked Georgia on the schedule as the Hogs' home opener opponent.

"When I heard we've got them the first game I got pumped," the corner told the media with a smile. "I haven't finished off what I started when I played them last year when I got hurt. So I'm ready to show those guys what I've got."

Unfinished business. Jerry Jacobs has a lot of it. He has the potential to join a special group–NFL players who struggled and pulled their way out from the bottom to make it to the top.

From JuCo to A-State to Arkansas to the League. It won't be easy, but scouts will be forced to look at the tenacious Georgian in the secondary as the Hogs take on the best in the nation, weekend after weekend.

Fully recovered and feeling great after his ACL rehab, Jacobs has impressed his teammates with his leadership and overall play. He's been credited with multiple interceptions and pass breakups and Pittman said he was all over the field on Tuesday.

Jacobs is liking the crew he's riding with as well. With four weeks until the first game, Jacobs, Montaric Brown, Joe Foucha, Myles Mason and Gregory Brooks Jr. have established themselves as a solid group of ones.

"We're actually on the same page," Jacobs said. "So, being with a secondary like this, not throwing shade at A State, but communication plays a major role when it comes to being a great secondary. We all got the same drive to go. We're going to shock the world this year."

Big words but Arkansas had the 69th worst passing defense in the country and 122nd worst rushing defense, so there's a lot of room for improvement. It sounds like Jacobs is doing his part to elevate what should be one of the stronger units on the team in 2020.