Jacobs plays for his brother

Redskins rookie receiver Taylor Jacobs has added incentive to make it in the NFL. He wants to prove others wrong for passing him over in the draft. He wants to show that Florida receivers can star in the NFL. And he wants to show that the Redskins were correct in taking him rather than a safety.

He wants to prove others wrong for passing him over in the draft. He wants to show that Florida receivers can star in the NFL. And he wants to show that the Redskins were correct in taking him rather than a safety.

More than anything, however, Taylor Jacobs wants to succeed in the NFL because of his younger brother, Evan.

''That's one of my motivating factors,'' Jacobs said. ''I'm trying to set things up for him. . . . He will never be alone. I've gotta do what I can to support him.''

Evan Jacobs has a mild case of Down syndrome and Taylor Jacobs is his only sibling. Though both their parents are alive and healthy living outside Tallahassee, Taylor Jacobs knows that one day he must take full care of his brother. That's what he wants. And he doesn't want his brother ever living in a group home. He wants his brother either living with him, or in a house he'll build next door to him.

They've always been close, growing up on a farm in Monticello, Fla., just outside Florida State University (which didn't recruit him). The boys would ride the family's golf cart together, play catch, go bowling or just hang out in town. They'd even fight.

''Usual boy stuff,'' their mom, Sandy, said.

But the older they got the more Taylor looked out for his younger brother. Sandy Jacobs eventually dubbed her oldest son, ''Mr. Responsibility.'' He's always looked after his younger brother, never letting anyone bully him, or take advantage of him.

''As a little kid I didn't want anyone to touch him or do him wrong,'' Taylor Jacobs said. ''People would try to get over on him and I wouldn't let that happen. But when he was growing up I didn't understand what he was always going through, why he couldn't [understand] anything. My parents were more accepting to him, but now I know. Now I appreciate those things.''

Evan Jacobs even drives the family truck around the farm. But what makes Taylor Jacobs proud are the little things: when Evans' vocabulary increased; when he became interested in girls. Or the family would give Evan money to go to the store. He'd return with all the change and no one had taken anything from him. Little victories; huge rewards.

That's why Evan Jacobs serves as an inspiration for his older brother.

''He's just a person with a free spirit,'' Taylor Jacobs said, ''free of life and full of the non-materialistic things. He talks to people the same way and it doesn't matter if they're the President of the United States or a bum off the street. If you make him mad or feel good, he'll let you know. He's at all my games and it doesn't matter to him if I drop two passes or catch three touchdown passes. . . . I bring him a little bit into my world and he brings me a little bit into his.''

Evan Jacobs is quite a character at his brother's games. As a kid, before Taylor Jacobs attended Florida, the family would attend Florida State games when the Seminoles played the Gators. And Evan Jacobs would do the Seminole chop among the Gator faithful.

When his brother starred for the Gators, he'd often dance in the aisles, becoming a cult fixture at Florida's games. Sandy Jacobs calls him their goodwill ambassador. She also says Washington has never seen a fan like him.

His parents now are making plans to attend most, if not all of the Redskins' games. They laugh about how people north of Florida talk about the heat. They fret about having to buy winter coats for late-season games. Sandy Jacobs can't wait to bring back educational material from the nation's capital for her fifth-grade class. And Harry Jacobs' big decision revolves around driving to games. He's a retired teacher; he doesn't like to fly. So he'll hit the road.

What they don't have to worry about is their youngest son should anything happen to them.

''Taylor just knows that it will be his responsibility at some point,'' Sandy Jacobs said. ''And he's always accepted that and knows that's part of his repsonsibility. It's expected and we know that he will do it. . . The bottom line is, this is our family. To us that's just the way it is. It's nothing out of the ordinary.''



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