Florida State pulled defensive tackle Damien Jacobs out of H.L. Bourgeois (Houma, La.) last season, but the 6-foot-3, 295-pounder ran into trouble when the Clearinghouse flagged his courses soon after he got qualified.
“It sprung up on me at the last minute, pretty much the day before I left,” he said. “I had taken a summer school course and things just got drawn out longer than I expected.”
Plan B: enroll at Florida State at midterm.
“I went ahead and enrolled at East Mississippi Community College, and I figured I would only be there for one season,” Jacobs said. “I figured December would come and I would want to jump over to Florida State.”
Again, plans have changed.
“I am staying at East Mississippi for another season,” Jacobs said. “After getting the experience I have and talking with some coaches at different colleges, people feel it’s best for me to stay another season and develop, then jump in to a school my junior year and start playing.”
Coming out of high school Jacobs had interest from FSU, Miami, Ole Miss, Arkansas and Nebraska, eventually committing to the Seminoles in September of 2009. He followed the pledge up with a dynamic senior season, finishing the year with 91 tackles, seven sacks, 33 tackles for loss, six forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries.
“It was a great season, and I learned a lot playing with guys like Quinton and Gary,” he said. “They were signed to play at Alabama and Florida, so they are the real deal. I’d say I was in there alongside one of them for 40-percent of each game.
“It’s a big reason I want to come back and not try to go out to a college now. We went up against lots of D-I prospects and really tore them up. That experience factor is big for me.”
Despite the fact that Jacobs won’t be signing on with a program until 2012, colleges are back at EMCC to check on the defensive line group.
“Coach Frank (Wilson) came by here this season, and coach (Ron) Cooper has been one of the people recruiting for LSU too,” he said. “I am very interested in LSU, so I hope to get to know the staff over the next year. They are one school that will be really high on my list.
“Florida State is still in the mix, and a lot of schools that recruited me last year are staying in touch. I am going to weigh all my options this time around just like I did coming out of high school. Whichever schools recruit me, I’ll welcome them with open arms.”