The departure of ECU offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley may come as a blow to recruits the Pirates have committed in the 2015 class, especially at the skill positions on offense. The worst-case scenario would be for the team to lose its lone true quarterback commit John Jacobs from Shawnee, Oklahoma.
Jacobs was upset when he heard the news.
“Obviously it didn't make me feel good about the situation,” said the 6-foot-1, 211-pound Jacobs. “However, I talked to my family, friends and coaches about it. Also when I talked to (outside receivers coach) Dave Nichol he assured me that (ECU) still wanted me and that he has a plan for me to be great.”
Nichol’s response about a potential “plan” for Jacobs plays into the narrative of an in-house hire for ECU to fill Riley’s void. Of all the candidates on the team, Nichol is the ideal one at the moment.
Head coach Ruffin McNeill and Nichol have to be thrilled about Jacobs’ plan for a football career at ECU. Despite the loss of Riley, that idea is far from diminished.
“I'm for sure still committed to ECU,” said Jacobs. “I will be there for my official visit this weekend (Jan. 17) and I’m very excited to meet with Coach Nichol one-on-one to start building a relationship.”
So for now the Pirates coaching staff can shift any concern they have for losing Jacobs. Two other recruits that ECU should be concerned about are JUCO quarterback commit James Summers, who will likely play wide receiver, and Lake Nona wide receiver Deondre Farrier. Both players committed to Riley during in-home visits and have committed to multiple schools throughout recruitment.
Finishing the season on a loss to Florida with an 8-5 record could also affect ECU’s 2015 class. Jacobs is confident the losses were a direct result of the team shooting itself in the foot.
“The 8-5 season really didn't affect my opinion on the team,” said Jacobs. “I know all of their losses should've been wins and that we hurt ourselves. The Pirates can play with anybody.”
It appears it’s all systems go for Jacobs to arrive at ECU and he plans to do so during the first summer session. Right now he is focused on getting completely healthy so that he can hit the ground running.