Like the rest of the Ohio State cornerbacks, Harlen Jacobs is beginning the season with a chip on his
"I've heard the whole thing with people saying we're young and we're not that good, but we've been in the program long enough to know the ropes, so, I mean, I think we're going to surprise a lot of people," Jacobs told Bucknuts.com. "I mean, what's young? Me and Bobby (Britton) are going on our third years, Rich (McNutt) is going on his fourth, Dustin (Fox) has only been here a year, but he played a lot as a freshman."
Like Jerry Rudzinski says, these Buckeye corners stick together. Even though they're all fighting for playing time, they're a tight knit group and always speak well of each other.
The 6-foot-1, 197-pound Jacobs has been singled out by the OSU coaching staff for having excellent size and speed for a cornerback. Would he agree that size/speed are his strengths?
"I think so. I run about a 4.3 and I'm somewhat tall for a corner. But that stuff doesn't matter that much. It's how you use your body; getting in the right position, making the interception, knocking the ball away, making the tackle, whatever you can do."
What are Jacobs expectations for the season?
"Some of us were just talking about that today. I don't think there is any doubt we want to win the Big Ten and get to the national championship game and win it."
What does Jacobs think about having Mike Doss, arguably the nation's best safety, back there with him in the defensive backfield?
"It's going to help a lot. He's a senior and we're really going to need his leadership this year. He's going to play a big part in the way we play. Both him and Donnie Nickey."
Jacobs, a redshirt sophomore, likes the fact that Texas Tech, Washington State and Cincinnati are on the schedule. He thinks those games will be a good time to prove everyone wrong.
"It's exciting to be playing so many passing teams right away. It's going to answer all the questions about, 'Are the corners going to be weak?' So, we can show everyone pretty early in the season that we can perform and a lot of guys are going to get a chance to play. We are probably going to need a lot of DBs in there sometimes."
Jacobs compared Capital City to his hometown, the Capital of the South.
"It's different than Atlanta, Columbus is more of a college town. It's all about the Buckeyes here and I think that's good. All the fans come to watch the Buckeyes. Coming from Atlanta, you've got the Braves, the Hawks, the Falcons and then Georgia Tech, so everybody's not really a big college football fan. But it seems like everybody I meet in Columbus is a big college football fan... I just really like it here in Columbus. It's very laid back and I love being a part of Ohio State football."
Jacobs was a first-team All-Georgia pick at Douglass High School and had nine interceptions as a senior.
ZWICK, D'ANDREA DISCUSS ALL-STAR GAMES
Incoming freshmen Justin Zwick and Mike D'Andrea took their fare share of all-star game flack this summer -- Zwick for not performing up to the hype (is that possible?) and D'Andrea for not showing up for either of the big games (Ohio North-South; Big 33).
However, both young men seem to take everything in stride and don't really care what people are saying about the all-star games.
"We got beat pretty bad, but I had a lot of fun at the Big 33," Zwick said. "I was actually a lot happier with my play in the Big 33 than the North-South. I don't know what it was about the North-South, but I just didn't have that good of a game. I came out a little better in the Big 33 and threw a lot better balls and was happy with my performance."
Zwick, classy as always, said nothing of the dropped balls and wrong routes from the Ohio wide receiving corps.
As for D'Andrea, there were a few reasons why he skipped the all-star games. The biggest reason was that he wanted to make sure he was in top physical shape when he reported to OSU camp.
"Track season kind of ran kind of late this year and that would have only given me a week to prepare for the (North-South) game," D'Andrea said. "And plus, when I went to Notre Dame on my visit, the kid who was showing me around there missed his whole freshman year from blowing out his knee in a high school all-star game. That just really got me thinking that the all-star games weren't for me. I mean, it would have been a lot of fun and a good experience and everything, but I just wanted to make sure that I was healthy going into camp."