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Prep football: GV's Jacobs chooses Fresno State

Golden Valley star gives up basketball to play football at next level

Posted: December 19, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: December 18, 2012 10:53 p.m.
Golden Valley senior Leon Jacobs accepted an offer to play football at Fresno State next season. Golden Valley senior Leon Jacobs accepted an offer to play football at Fresno State next season.
Golden Valley senior Leon Jacobs accepted an offer to play football at Fresno State next season.

Leon Jacobs came into the 2012 prep football season as a curiosity.

This time next year he’ll be a college football player.

The Golden Valley senior verbally committed to play football at Fresno State, accepting a scholarship offer Monday night.

He was recruited as a linebacker.

Jacobs transferred to Golden Valley from Bishop Montgomery of Torrance this summer.

The 17-year-old hadn’t played football since his freshman year and was a basketball star at Bishop Montgomery.

He instantly became an impact player for Golden Valley football as an All-Foothill League second-team running back.

“Football — I took it, I practiced, went hard every day in games. It paid off,” Jacobs said. “You have to go where your meal ticket is. Basketball was my love, but it went to football over the course of the season. And everything happens for a reason.”

Jacobs was playing for the Golden Valley basketball team, but dropped the sport two weeks ago to concentrate on his football future.

Jacobs received five offers from NCAA Football Subdivision (Division I) schools, but chose Fresno State in part because what was said to him by a recruit on an official visit to another school.

“(Fresno State) wanted me more and on (another recruiting trip) I talked to a receiver who transferred (to another school) from USC. He went to USC because of a name. He told me go somewhere where you’re wanted and where you could play the earliest,” Jacobs said.

Fresno State is 9-3 this season and plays SMU in the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl on Dec. 24.

Jacobs rushed for a team-high 847 yards on 133 carries with five touchdowns for the Grizzlies.

He played sparingly on defense early, then more in league play, accumulating 19 tackles, three sacks and a forced fumble.

Golden Valley head coach Robert Fisher said as time went on, Jacobs showed more of an interest for hitting than being hit.

Jacobs is an imposing figure at 6 feet 3 inches tall and 215 pounds.

Golden Valley finished 0-10 this past season, but Jacobs said it proved, “no matter where you go, it’s what you do on and off the field that prepares you for the next level.”

Fisher seconded that.

“I think this just shows at our school there’s an opportunity for kids to get a great education, but also there’s an opportunity in the game of football of getting our kids placed in college and to be better young men, which is the ultimate goal,” Fisher said. “Leon showed it’s possible to get recruited out of Golden Valley and go to a Division I school.”


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