Former Arroyo Grande High School football star Seth Jacobs announced on social media Tuesday that he would not return for his redshirt senior season at Oklahoma State University citing health concerns.
“I am beginning to value my body, health and well being more than extending my career,” Jacobs wrote in a Facebook post. “Therefore, I will not be playing my last year of eligibility and will pursue a career outside of football.”
Jacobs, a 6-foot-2, 225-pound linebacker for the Cowboys, has played through his fair share of injuries during his three years including playing through a shoulder injury during the entire 2014 season, but Jacobs cites a reoccurring neck pain as his reason for stepping away from football.
“My neck has been a problem from me since my sophomore year of high school,” Jacobs wrote referring to a diagnosis of spinal stenosis. “If I get hit just right or jarred in the wrong way, I get numbness and shooting pains that go through my arms.”
“… playing football does not take precedence over the quality of life I want to live.”
Jacobs’ college career was highlighted by defensive MVP honors in OSU’s Cactus Bowl win over Washington and an interception against Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston of Florida State in the season opener in 2014. Jacobs started every game of the 2014 and 2015 seasons at linebacker and finished his college career with 168 total tackles.
While at Arroyo Grande, Jacobs started on varsity as a freshman and played linebacker and quarterback and helped lead the Eagles to their fifth CIF-Southern Section Western Division title in program history in 2011 on the way to being named Co-County Player of the Year with teammate Garrett Owens.
“I love football and I would never discourage anyone from playing it. I have played this game since I was 8 years old and enjoyed every phase,” Jacobs wrote. “I know that it is time for me to step away.”
In an interview with The Oklahoman before the season’s Sugar Bowl loss to Ole Miss, Jacobs said that he would eventually like to be a youth mentor.
“I created lifetime friends through this experience,” Jacobs wrote Tuesday, “and was proud to represent orange and black throughout the years.”