Solon High's Pat Jacob made his first official visit to a BCS school last weekend and is now struggling with his potential athletically and academically. The 5-10, 170-pounder's solid grade point average and 1850 SAT score might enable him to receive an offer from Ivy League school Harvard, which, should he also be offered a scholarship by the Mountaineers, would force the kicker to choose between the highest levels of academics and the highest levels of athletics.
"That's the question," he said. "Which do you pick? I was at (WVU's) camp over the summer and really liked it a lot. We got to practice on some of the fields, but didn't get to tour other areas like we do on a visit. The atmosphere at the game was great, and the things we were shown Friday night as far as the program were great. Playing for West Virginia would be sweet because of the top five ranking and national championship (aspirations)."
The coaching staff and recruiter Bruce Tall, the safeties coach at West Virginia who handles Ohio, has asked Solon to practice punting. He was simply a place kicker throughout his prep career thus far and had not thought about other special teams' areas. Jacob said the Mountaineers wanted a kicker who could handle the entire range of duties. He said he thought he could do either and that he is "picking up punting pretty good."
Jacob is looking to major in business or economics and he is looking at Marshall and Ohio University as well. He has a 29 in his ACT and is planning to retake his SAT. He might be the player WVU is searching for to take over for Pat McAfee and Scott Kozlowski when the duo will have exhausted their eligibility after the 2008 season – though Kozlowski could be redshirted this year if he does not see action. The Mountaineers will reexamine Jacob's situation as recruiting progresses to see how he has handled punting. Fellow Buckeye State kicker Kevin Harper (Mentor High, Mentor, Ohio) has West Virginia listed as one of his top five schools as well.
"West Virginia is at the top by far," Jacob said. "But I want to see what other offers become available, too."