Well, we’re less than 24 hours away from the National Signing Day festivities kicking off and there are still a few big names out there that will be deciding whether or not they will become Maryland Terrapins tomorrow.
One of those names is somewhat unexpected however. Suitland HS WR Taivon Jacobs, brother of current Maryland Terrapin Levern Jacobs, has opened up his recruitment and will now decide between the school he committed to in July, Ohio State, and the Terps. Jacobs reportedly chose not to take an official visit to the College Park, MD campus earlier in the process so that he would not upset the coaching staff at OSU.
In an article by Eric Detweiler, of the Washington Post, this morning Jacobs stated that “I don’t know what I’m going to decide, you’re going to know tomorrow. Tonight is going to be a tough night.”
Jacobs also mentions in the same article that his child will play a role in where he chooses to attend college. “I want to make the best choice for me. I have a child. I want to make sure I’m a great father and a great player.”
Is it possible that Jacobs shocks Buckeye fans everywhere with a switch to the Terps tomorrow? Sure, it wouldn’t be National Signing Day without some sort of intrigue as this is never a boring day. There are some factors that play towards the Terrapins advantage as well heading in to tomorrow that weren’t exactly the case in July when Jacobs originally committed to Ohio State.
1) Close to home - Jacobs himself says that it is important to him to “be a great father and a great player” which is an extremely impressive statement coming from a highly recruited high school senior. Clearly, it would be easier for him to do that while playing in College Park, MD than it would be in Columbus, OH. By staying close to home Jacobs would also have a strong knit support group to help him through the adjustment to being a college athelte.
2) Levern - Taivon’s older brother is currently on the Terrapins roster and, as you could expect, has been looked toward for guidance by his younger brother throughout this process. One of the notes in Detweiler’s story which stood out to me was that Levern has never pushed Maryland on his younger brother, which in turn could have driven him further away. Instead, Levern has offered help by telling the younger Jacobs to weigh the pros and cons of all his options and “whatever weighs out best, thats where I should go”.
3) Track is back! - Taivon Jacobs is not only a star on the football field but also a standout on the track as it was always in his plan to compete in both sports at the next level. At the time of his commitment to Ohio State the Terrapins track and field team’s future was in major flux due to the cuts made by the athletic department making it unclear as to whether Maryland would even field a team where Jacobs could showcase his speed. With the influx of money on the way due to the impending move to the Big Ten the fate of the track and field program is not as dire as it looked over the summer which will help with Jacobs.
4) Buckeyes filling up at WR - Last night, the Buckeyes also flipped Dontre Wilson, as the athlete from Texas switched from the Oregon Ducks to Ohio State. Many who cover OSU football envision Meyer using Wilson in the same type of slotback role which Percy Harvin thrived in during Meyer’s time at Florida.
In addition to Wilson joining the fold in the past week Ohio State has also landed verbal commitments from Jalin Marshall and Corey Smith, two four-star wide receivers. Marshall and Smith are top five prospects at their position respectively (Corey Smith ranking as a top 5 JUCO WR) which could be a decisive factor in the decision Jacobs makes public tomorrow.
5) Familiarity with the campus/program - Despite the fact that Jacobs never took an official visit to the University of Maryland the fact that his older brother is currently a Terp and that he played down the road at Suitland HS play in the Terrapins favor. Between his brother being a member of the program and the proximity of his HS to the College Park campus he should have all the information necessary to make an informed decision on whether the Terps program is the right fit for him.
6) Locksley - This would make back to back years that the Terps, aided by recruiting extraordinaire Mike Locksley, would beat out Ohio State for a WR recruit on National Signing Day (Stefon Diggs). While the recruiter of record for Jacobs, according to his 247Sports profile, is Terrapins WR coach Lee Hull there is no doubt that Mike Locksley had some sort of hand in Jacobs recruitment to this point. Dominance in the greater Washington D.C. area is how Mike Locksley has made his name in the recruiting world, would it be that shocking were he to pull off another coup tomorrow?
According to Detweiler’s article, that was released this afternoon, Jacobs decision between Ohio State and Maryland will be made during a ceremony at Suitland HS tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. As those of you who follow us on Twitter (@terpstationmd) know when I first saw this story it was met by and large with skepticism. However, as I noted above there are plenty of reasons for Jacobs to stay home and continue this movement of players choosing to attend the local university over feeling the need to leave the area altogether.
For more coverage on all things Maryland Terrapins football recruiting as we inch closer to National Signing Day be sure to stay plugged in to TerrapinStationMD.com and to follow us on Twitter for reaction to news as it happens.