Persistence pays off, apparently. Suitland wide receiver Taivon Jacobs committed to Ohio State last July, and had seemingly been solid to the Buckeyes ever since. But Maryland and Mike Locksley never gave up on him, and their tenacity paid off: after showing signs of wavering, Jacobs flipped his commitment from Ohio State to the Terrapins on Signing Day, and will be suiting up in College Park next season.
Taivon Jacobs flips his commitment from Ohio State to Maryland. Big pick up for the #Terps on National Signing Day.— Jakob Engelke (@Jakob_Engelke) February 6, 2013
Jacobs' brother Levern is a wide receiver at Maryland, and it seems family and distance from home played a big factor in his decision, especially his ability to be close to his daughter. Locksley's ability to identify with locals and sell the D.C. area were critical, too, as was the Terrapins' persistence in keeping in touch with him. Make no mistake: there were big arrows pointing in Maryland's direction, from the family connection to OSU's late receiver additions, but you've got to be there and be able to sell him on them. A few years ago, Maryland wouldn't have done either, and he'd still have flipped, but to Penn State or Rutgers or Virginia. Now that Locksley's around and Edsall is - to his credit - grinding on the trail, you can bet that won't be a problem. The end result: the most exciting Signing Day flip for the Terrapins in years. (Maybe ever?)
He's only a three-star on most recruiting services, but his offer sheet and local reputation - which are probably more important factors when it comes to assessing a recruit - are that of a big-time national prospect, which makes it all the more impressive - and encouraging. He's a waterbug, decently tall at 5-11 but cracking all of 165 pounds. His size will be a limiting factor, to some degree, but it doesn't matter if you can't catch him, and most won't be able to catch him. He's lightning when it comes to straight-line speed and his stop-start speed makes him hugely elusive in the open field, as well. He's the type of explosive, dynamic play-maker custom-made for a spread offense, and the type of guy that Maryland's roster generally lacks - aside, of course, from Stefon Diggs.
Throwing Jacobs into the mix gives the Terrapins an absurd group of talent at wide receiver. A sampling: Stefon Diggs, of course; Deon Long, whom Rivals ranked as the #1 JuCo recruit in the country and a five-star; Marcus Leak, who emerged as a legitimate ACC starter last season; Nigel King, who did the same; Levern Jacobs, a shifty athlete who'll make plays in space; and now Taivon Jacobs, a lightning quick playmaker. Aside from King and Long, all are either freshmen or sophomores. There's talent and depth in this bunch, and it'll be around for quite some time.
Now, so long as somebody can emerge at quarterback to hit short and intermediate routes, plus the occasional long-ball to Diggs or Long, Maryland's going to have a hell of an offense over the next few years.
Cinema below. Now, we wait for the other shoe.