Seth Jacobs, Arroyo Grande High’s four-star football recruit, held everyone in suspense about his college destination until Wednesday night.
In front of an auditorium full of supporters and members of the media, he finally ended months of speculations and put aside about a dozen other offers by signing with Oklahoma State on National Signing Day, the first day high school recruits from across the country can sign their National Letters of Intent.
At that point, the 6-foot-2, 215-pound linebacker — who is ranked 28th in the nation at his position and the 38th top prospect in the state, according to Rivals.com — became the 24th commitment in the Cowboys’ 2012 recruiting class.
“I felt most comfortable with Oklahoma State,” he said.
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In a suit and tie, Jacobs made the announcement live on KSBY TV that he’d join a program that went 12-1 last season with the Big 12 Conference title and a 41-38 overtime win over Stanford in the Fiesta Bowl, the school’s first BCS bowl appearance.
His parents, Jimmy and Tracy, sat next to him at the table with hats of Oklahoma State, Colorado and Arkansas — his three final choices — lined up in a row. And during the on-air interview, Jacobs revealed that he had made the decision a couple of weeks ago, an answer that received a chuckle from the eager crowd.
“They’re all quality schools,” he said. “I couldn’t go wrong with any one of them. They’re all special in their own little ways. Colorado was a beautiful campus with great academics and everything. Arkansas is in the SEC and it was a great opportunity.”
But Jacobs couldn’t pass on Oklahoma State after visits to its campus and meetings with the coaching staff, one that guided the Cowboys to finish ranked third in the country.
“We’ve got a great recruiting class,” Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy said in a press release. “Our administrative and recruiting staff did very well in bringing this group in. This class is really balanced and we look forward to getting everybody in here.”
Jacobs’ college decision wrapped up an unforgettable year for him and his Arroyo Grande teammates. They were part of a 13-1 team that captured the CIF-Southern Section Western Division title last December, the school’s first since 1998.
Jacobs, a rare four-year varsity starter, played almost every position for the Eagles, including wide receiver, tight end, running back and even quarterback.
“If I could’ve gotten a number change,” said Arroyo Grande coach Tom Goossen, who gave the introduction to the signing, “he’d have played offensive lineman.”
Jacobs was a force all over the field, highlighted by 151 tackles, 530 yards rushing with 10 touchdowns and one monstrous sack for a 20-yard loss against San Luis Obispo — numbers that helped him land co-Tribune County Players of the Year honors with teammate and kicker Garrett Owens.
Owens, along with quarterback Brent VanderVeen and lineman Garrett Weinreich, signed with Oregon State on Wednesday. Those future Beavers held a public signing earlier in the day at the school’s gym because of evening obligations.
Jacobs kept people in suspense until his news conference. He had narrowed down his choices to three, only after turning down offers from Pac-12 schools such as Oregon, UCLA, Oregon State, Cal, Arizona, Arizona State, Washington and Washington State. Only his immediate family knew beforehand where he’d go.
Not even his grandma had an idea. Sandra Davis, who lives in Tulsa, Okla., a relatively short drive from Oklahoma State in Stillwater, attended the announcement and was relieved like most everyone else after being held in suspense for months.
“It was the best feeling in the world, but, of course, I’d have been supportive of him wherever he went,” Davis said upon hearing Jacobs’ decision. “That’s what I do. I support my grandchildren.”