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Is It Still Possible To Find Hidden Gems?

Joshua Jacobs of Tulsa McLain put up eye-popping numbers a a senior (2,704 rushing yards and 36 touchdowns on 179 carries) to get the attention of some major college programs.

To answer the headline question: Oh yes, there is! On Jan. 4, I wrote about Tulsa McLain, Okla., dual threat quarterback Joshua Jacobs. I knew about Jacobs back in the fall because the coaching staff at NEO A&M J.C. thought to themselves, "hey, if this kid doesn't get any more attention than this (a few low Division I offers and some Division II) then we can sell him on coming here for one semester and then lighting it up at OSU, OU, or Tulsa."

Then Justin Fuente, a former Oklahoma high school coach at Memphis, noticed and the "red hot" head coach offered. Later after he got the job at Virginia Tech replacing Frank Beamer, Fuente offered there too. Central Florida offered as did some other far away Division I schools but that didn't mean an address closer to home couldn't jump in and sway.

A little imagination that this 5-10, 200-pound jump, slash, cut, power, and speed runner would be a great full-time running back in the college game was all one needed.  

Yes, Oklahoma State took a look. TCU and Missouri followed their way into McLain. Why not? This guy has number that are video game-like. 

He finished his career with 5,382 rushing yards  and 63 touchdowns while averaging 11.0 yards a carry. Those are career numbers but the really eye-popping numbers came this past season as Jacobs led the Titans into the playoffs in Class 4A.

You really need to start with the Cascia Hall game as those numbers came against one of the powerhouse programs in Oklahoma. Jacobs, who played both ways and earned All-State honors for his play on both sides of the ball, rushed for 455 yards and six touchdowns on 22 carries. He scored on runs of 76, 72, 65, 56, 14, and 5 yards, plus he had an 88-yard scoring run called back on a penalty.

It was during a six-game run in the season that included a 16-carry, 327-yard, five-touchdown performance versus Miami and 25 carries for 340 yards and two touchdowns at Cleveland that Jacobs averaged 306.2 yards a game. 

You see what I mean? These are video game stats but when you watch the video you see it is real. Jacobs has spin moves, he can jump and juke, and he flat out runs through tacklers, and he did it on the way to rushing for 2,704 yards and 36 touchdowns on 179 carries .as a senior I know the numbers in that sentence don't look right, but they are and his per carry average this season is an obscene 15.1 yards per attempt. 

It gets better in that Jacobs is a model student, not entitled but hungry to succeed. He has a 3.25 GPA and a qualifying test score on the ACT. Athletically, he runs a reported 4.4 in the forty and has a 40-inch vertical. He is strong, agile and smart on the football field. 

Okay, now we flash to end of the story. Oklahoma State looked but didn't offer and it may not matter. Oklahoma did come in and offer, and right now my sources are saying the Sooners aren't sure they can get him. The quarterback that will be a running back and looked like his only options would be out of state may now have an out-of-state option that can't be refused. Alabama came into visit him at school Wednesday. 

Some say that hidden gem isn't out there any more. After this, I am not believing that.


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