Our summer profile series is back and we’re previewing Maryland football one position group at a time.
We’ve gone over wide receivers and tight ends so far, and now we are reviewing the Terps’ running backs. I talked about freshman Peny Boone Thursday, and now we’ll wrap up the running back position with Isaiah Jacobs.
Isaiah Jacobs, RB, No. 4
Hometown: Tulsa, Oklahoma
High School: Owasso
2019 Senior Stats: 4 games; 76 rush, 632 yds, 6 TD; 11 rec, 160 yds, 2 TD
Jacobs shocked people when he committed to Maryland over presumed-favorite and hometown Oklahoma State back in December. The three-star recruit was the No. 35 running back in the nation and sixth-ranked player out of Oklahoma when he signed, according to the 24/7 Sports Composite.
The back’s best statistical year in high school was as a junior, when he posted over 1,000 yards rushing and reached the end zone nine times. He also tallied 27 receptions in the eight games for 296 yards.
Jacobs got off to a hot start in his final season at Owasso before being sidelined with a knee injury. In just four games he had 76 attempts 632 yards with a career high 8.3 yards-per-carry.
He also scored eight touchdowns, six of which were rushing in his abbreviated senior campaign. Jacobs’ consistent dominance in high school led Owasso two Class 6A Championships in 2017 and 2019.
Jacobs has a pretty familiar style of play
If you think you’re seeing double while watching Jacobs take snaps under Mike Locksley, you’re not crazy. The Maryland freshman is the younger brother of Las Vegas Raiders tailback Josh Jacobs, who played under Locksley at Alabama.
The familiarity with the Terrapin head coach definitely played a role in Jacobs choosing to come to College Park, and he will look to produce the same feats that his brother did with the Crimson Tide.
Like his brother, Jacobs has a very similar build and running style. His strength has proven to be hard to stop for defenders, while his small size compliments his elusive runs in the open field.
The yards-per-carry stat that Jacobs kept high year after year in high school is also of great resemblance to his kin. At McLain High School, Josh averaged 15 yards-per-carry in his senior year, surpassing 2,700 yards and scoring 31 touchdowns.
If Jacobs can stay on the field for Maryland and avoid some injuries that plagued him in high school, producing monster numbers like his NFL brother is not a far-fetched idea.
The freshman can get in on the receiving game
Jacobs will be starting the season towards the bottom of the depth chart at the position as seniors Jake Funk and Tayon Fleet-Davis are returning to the team. Though his number of carries might be lower than in the past, he can still contribute in a different way.
The overwhelming talent at the wide receiver position for Maryland points to the fact that the offense will rely heavily on a pass-first approach this season. Three running backs caught at least nine passes a season ago, two of which are no longer on the roster.
Implementing Jacobs as a receiver out of the backfield not only plays to the way the offense is shifting, but his size and strength could be a factor that fits perfectly into this Darren Sproles-esque role.