Rosemount High School (MN) prospect Jacob Smith is a big boy. Literally. Not only is he big for just finishing up his sophomore year of high school, but it’s also reported that he has a 415-pound max squat as well. So, there’s strength to go with that size, being a 2018 class recruit.
“I’m 6-6 and weigh 320-pounds,” said Smith who is only entering his junior year of high school football. “I play guard and I also play offensive tackle at my high school. What I like to do is pull. My coach likes us to pull a lot so he likes me to play guard, but when I go to camps I play both guard and tackle.”
The BYU Cougars coaching staff was alerted about Smith by a member in his LDS congregation. From there early interest took hold. It wasn’t long before the Minnesota native flew out to Provo, Utah for a week of football camp. On the second day, Smith was offered by Coach Empey after a mishap occurred on the first day of running through drills.
“I came down from Minnesota for the week long camp but I got in on Monday night and participated on Tuesday,” Smith recalled. “Sadly, I fractured my ankle on the first practice on Tuesday. I only got to show them about two hours of what I could actually do.”
Just two hours into camp drills, the big 6-6, 320-pound lineman stepped into a sprinkler hole causing the fracture.
“We were doing drills and one-on-ones and there was this hole where an underground sprinkler comes out of,” Smith said. “I didn’t see it and I stepped right in the hole and my foot went outward. I fractured the inside of my ankle and I was just so bummed.”
The accident left Smith unable to continue. Figuring his chances of getting a BYU scholarship were over, at least for this year, Smith was relegated to watching other camp participants workout with the coaches in pursuit of their dreams. Then he saw Coach Empey walking his way.
“On the second day on Wednesday, I come back hobbling on crutches and in a boot,” Smith said. “Coach Empey came walking up to me with a smile on his face. He then said they were offering me and I was happy to accept. I was like, ‘You know, I got a fractured ankle but it’s all good. You gave me the offer now so everything is good.’ It was great. I couldn’t get the smile off my face. I was saying, ‘Thank you! Thank you!’ and was smiling the whole time. The entire day I had a non-stop smile. ”
With the offer from Coach Empey, the pain of a fractured foot seemed to melt away. In fact, Smith would do it all over again if it meant him getting an offer from BYU.
“Well, I was offered [Wednesday] after camp, so, yeah, the fracture was worth it,” said Smith while laughing. “If I can fracture an ankle get an offer from BYU I’ll do that all day long. He offered me and I committed on the spot.”
Growing up in the LDS faith, Smith came to Provo with the goal of securing a BYU scholarship offer. It only took Coach Empey two hours to realize he had something special on campus prior to an offer being extended. Smith, on the other hand, couldn’t resist committing.
“BYU is just awesome!” said Smith. “They make you feel like family and they’re a great program. BYU is also my top school, so I committed instantly. It’s just a great environment and I’m LDS, so that helps. You don’t have to deal with all the partying and all that other nonsense that goes on in college. Also at BYU you represent a lot more than just a name of a school.”
BYU gets another commit from the 2018 class with Smith’s verbal pledge. However, with two years left to play at Rosemount High School, he’ll likely receive more attention as he enters his junior year. He’s already received a lot of early attention from notable programs.
“I have interest from Wisconsin, Minnesota, Purdue, Iowa State, Northwestern, Oregon, and Arkansas,” said Smith. “Those are the schools looking at me early, but I’m committed to BYU and that’s a big deal to me. I just feel great!
“It just feels like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. Now I can just focus on school and in the weight room and really focus on being better rather than worrying about all the recruiting stuff. I committed to BYU, so I’m set.”