Jestin Jacobs Sticks with Iowa, Turns Down Home-State Buckeyes

December 14, 2018

Written by Rob Howe

It’s been a long, tough month and a half for Jestin Jacobs. The four-star linebacker was feeling pressured.

He verbally committed to Iowa way back in May. He’d built a strong relationship with the Hawkeye coaches and fellow recruits in the 2019 Class. Then, the home-state Buckeyes came calling with a scholarship offer in the beginning of October.

From the point forward, he heard the Ohio State backers called for him to join the tribe. They were in his community. He twice visited the school, including last week’s official visit.

“I got a lot of pressure to flip. People here are big Ohio State fans. They think it’s an obvious decision. But growing up I was not an Ohio State fan. I was more of an Urban Meyer fan,” Jacobs told HN.

Meyer retired as the Buckeyes’ head coach earlier this month after winning 90 percent of his games, three Big Ten titles and the ’14 national championship with the program. Offensive coordinator Ryan Day replaced him and worked hard on flipping Jacobs. In the end, the Clayton (OH) Northmont star followed his heart and stayed with Iowa, he announced Friday morning.

“Many things made me stick with Iowa. They have believed in me for a long time. I’ve made great relationships with the coaches, some players and recruits. Coaching stability was a part, too. I feel the same coaches will be there when I graduate. I want to bring a Big Ten championship to Iowa,” he told HN.

The Hawkeyes closed the deal on Thursday when head coach Kirk Ferentz, defensive coordinator Phil Parker and linebacker coach Seth Wallace visited Jacobs again in Ohio.

“It feels great to be a Hawkeye. The fans can expect a playmaker and a person that will never stop trying to get better. I’m a player that will always give it my all,” he said.

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Jacobs did get to know the Ohio State staff with his two visits to campus and by coaches visiting his home. He felt it would be a good place to be, just not better than Iowa for him.

“The coaching staff changes did have a slight effect on the decision, but I believe Ryan Day will do great things. In the short time I was with him, he was a great person and the players love him as a coach,” Jacobs said.

While the Jacobs family supported Jestin through the process, he chose his destination.

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“My family did not play a big role in my final decision. I didn’t talk to a lot of them about it,” he said.

Jacobs sought solace during a stressful time with his good friend and teammate, Gabe Newburg, who verbally committed to Michigan in early April.

“The stress of the decision was big but I tried to get away from it when I could. My brother, Gabe Newburg, and I have just been in the lab working ever since our football season came to an end,” Jacobs said.

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Jacobs was chosen to play in the prestigious All-American Bowl, which takes place Jan. 5 (noon CT, NBC) in San Antonio. Current Iowa freshman Tyler Linderbaum played in the game last year. Hawkeye sophomores A.J. Epenesa and Tristan Wirfs competed in the contest in ’17.

The 247 network sees Jacobs (6-3, 210) as a four-star prospect, the No. 10 outside linebacker nationally in ’19 and the 156th overall player. Rivals ranks him a three-star and the No. 33 outside linebacker.

Here are Jacobs’ senior highlights:

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