Jacobson's Big Decision

Waukee athlete Michael Jacobson is an accomplished basketball player, but Iowa State is trying to sell him on his potential being greater in football. It's a sports-v-sport decision Jacobson has to make before he can commit to the Cyclones — or anywhere else

It's not about the schools for Waukee athlete Michael Jacobson, a standout in football and basketball.

If he decided to play football, it'd be for Iowa State, which offered him over the weekend and already has best friend and teammate Anthony Nelson in the fold for the 2015 recruiting class. If he went with hoops, it'd likely be either Nebraska or Drake.

Jacobson, a 6-foot-7, 220-pounder, has been playing tackle football since the seventh grade. He's more accomplished on the hardwood as a member of the MOKAN Elite AAU team. When asked if basketball is his first love, Jacobson says, "I don't know. I like it a lot, but I can see myself playing both."

This isn't the Cyclones versus somebody else. It's football versus basketball.

"That's definitely the toughest thing about the whole process," Jacobson told AllCyclones.com on Sunday. "I'm gonna talk it over with my family and get what they think and look at it from a short-term standpoint and a long-term standpoint as well, like playing after college."

Couldn't Jacobson play both sports in college, taking a scholarship in one and walking-on as a member of the other team? He'd like to, but it's not too realistic anymore, and it's not what Iowa State would want.

"They know I have a tough sports decision to make," Jacobson said. "Coach (Paul) Rhoads talked about if you want to play football for us you've got to commit to us 100 percent. There'd be no more swaying back and forth between basketball and football. If I want to commit, I'd have to convince them [of that]. I would really like the opportunity to play both sports but I think it'd be really hard to balance all that. Putting myself into one sport and working just on that would be a huge help. You can't go one way or the other. If I really want to get good at one or the other, I have to pick one."

In the 2014 circuit with MOKAN, Jacobson is averaging eight points per contest (16 games) and pulling down 6.8 rebounds per. As a junior with Waukee, Jacobson caught just 12 passes for 310 yards and two touchdowns.

It's about the potential, though. Iowa State coach Shane Burnham, the lead recruiter for Central Iowa, is pitching to Jacobson he has a professional future in football and would be another run-of-the-mill 6-foot-7 forward in hoops.

"Shane's been really good about talking to me and trying to convince me that I'm a football player and not a basketball player," Jacobson said. "Football gives me the better chance of possibly playing pro if I was lucky enough to do that."

It's nothing new in the NFL with the hoops-to-HOF stories of Tony Gonzalez and Antonio Gates so well-known, but each season seems to bring an ex-basketball player to the limelight as a tight end, the latest breakout stars being Julius Thomas of the Broncos and New Orleans' Jimmy Graham.

"It's the athleticism factor and they're usually pretty big, too," Jacobson said. "They can play in space well, catch the ball with soft hands and they've got quick feet for a lineman."

At Iowa State's camp June 7, Jacobson recorded a broad jump of 9-foot-4, ran a 4.87 40-yard dash and caught passes from future D-1 quarterbacks Billy Bahl and Demry Croft.

It was enough to convince the Cyclones' coaches to offer him over the weekend at their elite Junior Day.

"I wasn't going to be shocked if it didn't but personally I thought I performed well at camps in everything," he said. "I knew Coach (Mark) Mangino liked me a lot and I had heard from some people close to the program they were thinking about doing it but I knew Coach Rhoads has the final decision. I was waiting a while and thought it might not be coming when we got to dinner but Rhoads came over and asked to talk to me, so I figured, 'Here it comes.'"


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\"They know I have a tough sports decision to make,\" Jacobson said. \"Coach (Paul) Rhoads talked about if you want to play football for us you've got to commit to us 100 percent. There'd be no more swaying back and forth between basketball and football. If I want to commit, I'd have to convince them [of that]. I would really like the opportunity to play both sports but I think it'd be really hard to balance all that. Putting myself into one sport and working just on that would be a huge help. You can't go one way or the other. If I really want to get good at one or the other, I have to pick one.\"

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In the 2014 circuit with MOKAN, Jacobson is averaging eight points per contest (16 games) and pulling down 6.8 rebounds per. As a junior with Waukee, Jacobson caught just 12 passes for 310 yards and two touchdowns.

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It's about the potential, though. Iowa State coach Shane Burnham, the lead recruiter for Central Iowa, is pitching to Jacobson he has a professional future in football and would be another run-of-the-mill 6-foot-7 forward in hoops.

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\"Shane's been really good about talking to me and trying to convince me that I'm a football player and not a basketball player,\" Jacobson said. \"Football gives me the better chance of possibly playing pro if I was lucky enough to do that.\"

\r\n\r\n

It's nothing new in the NFL with the hoops-to-HOF stories of Tony Gonzalez and Antonio Gates so well-known, but each season seems to bring an ex-basketball player to the limelight as a tight end, the latest breakout stars being Julius Thomas of the Broncos and New Orleans' Jimmy Graham.

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\"It's the athleticism factor and they're usually pretty big, too,\" Jacobson said. \"They can play in space well, catch the ball with soft hands and they've got quick feet for a lineman.\"

\r\n\r\n

At Iowa State's camp June 7, Jacobson recorded a broad jump of 9-foot-4, ran a 4.87 40-yard dash and caught passes from future D-1 quarterbacks Billy Bahl and Demry Croft.

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It was enough to convince the Cyclones' coaches to offer him over the weekend at their elite Junior Day.

\r\n\r\n

\"I wasn't going to be shocked if it didn't but personally I thought I performed well at camps in everything,\" he said. \"I knew Coach (Mark) Mangino liked me a lot and I had heard from some people close to the program they were thinking about doing it but I knew Coach Rhoads has the final decision. I was waiting a while and thought it might not be coming when we got to dinner but Rhoads came over and asked to talk to me, so I figured, 'Here it comes.'\"

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","mobileBody":"

It's not about the schools for Waukee athlete Michael Jacobson, a standout in football and basketball.

If he decided to play football, it'd be for Iowa State, which offered him over the weekend and already has best friend and teammate Anthony Nelson in the fold for the 2015 recruiting class. If he went with hoops, it'd likely be either Nebraska or Drake.

Jacobson, a 6-foot-7, 220-pounder, has been playing tackle football since the seventh grade. He's more accomplished on the hardwood as a member of the MOKAN Elite AAU team. When asked if basketball is his first love, Jacobson says, \"I don't know. I like it a lot, but I can see myself playing both.\"

This isn't the Cyclones versus somebody else. It's football versus basketball.

\"That's definitely the toughest thing about the whole process,\" Jacobson told AllCyclones.com on Sunday. \"I'm gonna talk it over with my family and get what they think and look at it from a short-term standpoint and a long-term standpoint as well, like playing after college.\"

Couldn't Jacobson play both sports in college, taking a scholarship in one and walking-on as a member of the other team? He'd like to, but it's not too realistic anymore, and it's not what Iowa State would want.

How's it look? Extremely proud to say that I have been offered a football scholarship to Iowa State University. pic.twitter.com/leLgjEl2Hm

— Michael Jacobson (@MJake12) June 22, 2014

\"They know I have a tough sports decision to make,\" Jacobson said. \"Coach (Paul) Rhoads talked about if you want to play football for us you've got to commit to us 100 percent. There'd be no more swaying back and forth between basketball and football. If I want to commit, I'd have to convince them [of that]. I would really like the opportunity to play both sports but I think it'd be really hard to balance all that. Putting myself into one sport and working just on that would be a huge help. You can't go one way or the other. If I really want to get good at one or the other, I have to pick one.\"

In the 2014 circuit with MOKAN, Jacobson is averaging eight points per contest (16 games) and pulling down 6.8 rebounds per. As a junior with Waukee, Jacobson caught just 12 passes for 310 yards and two touchdowns.

It's about the potential, though. Iowa State coach Shane Burnham, the lead recruiter for Central Iowa, is pitching to Jacobson he has a professional future in football and would be another run-of-the-mill 6-foot-7 forward in hoops.

\"Shane's been really good about talking to me and trying to convince me that I'm a football player and not a basketball player,\" Jacobson said. \"Football gives me the better chance of possibly playing pro if I was lucky enough to do that.\"

It's nothing new in the NFL with the hoops-to-HOF stories of Tony Gonzalez and Antonio Gates so well-known, but each season seems to bring an ex-basketball player to the limelight as a tight end, the latest breakout stars being Julius Thomas of the Broncos and New Orleans' Jimmy Graham.

\"It's the athleticism factor and they're usually pretty big, too,\" Jacobson said. \"They can play in space well, catch the ball with soft hands and they've got quick feet for a lineman.\"

At Iowa State's camp June 7, Jacobson recorded a broad jump of 9-foot-4, ran a 4.87 40-yard dash and caught passes from future D-1 quarterbacks Billy Bahl and Demry Croft.

It was enough to convince the Cyclones' coaches to offer him over the weekend at their elite Junior Day.

\"I wasn't going to be shocked if it didn't but personally I thought I performed well at camps in everything,\" he said. \"I knew Coach (Mark) Mangino liked me a lot and I had heard from some people close to the program they were thinking about doing it but I knew Coach Rhoads has the final decision. I was waiting a while and thought it might not be coming when we got to dinner but Rhoads came over and asked to talk to me, so I figured, 'Here it comes.'\"

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