OWASSO — Owasso’s Isaiah Jacobs is entering his senior year of high school receiving much more attention from college recruiters than his brother did.
Josh Jacobs attended McLain in 2015, went on to play in college at Alabama and was chosen in the first round of the NFL draft by the Oakland Raiders. And after his success, coaches were not about to get caught sleeping again when word of his younger brother, Isaiah, began to gain steam on the recruiting trail.
The 5-foot-10, 208-pound running back already has received scholarship offers from numerous Power Five schools. Michigan, Nebraska, Oklahoma State, Arkansas, Mississippi and Maryland are among those who are in on the Jacobs sweepstakes, as are Tulsa and Memphis.
“I don’t think there’s any question that one of the things he has going for him is his DNA,” Owasso coach Bill Blankenship said, “because people are so enamored or infatuated with his brother that they want to know Isaiah’s story. Isaiah’s not going to go under the radar like his brother did.”
Jacobs is No. 2, behind another top major college prospect, Edison’s Sevion Morrison, in the All-World preseason football rankings for running backs. The rankings are based on past achievements, projected 2019 performance and college potential. Jacobs was No. 4 in the preseason last summer.
Jacobs said gaining interest from major programs is humbling, considering what his brother endured, but it still serves as a motivational tool.
“Any offer when I get it is kind of unexpected,” he said. “I feel as if all the work I’ve put into this is finally starting to pay off. I feel like I’ve got to keep putting in that work even though I am receiving offers.”
Naturally, DNA isn’t the only thing going for the younger Jacobs.
Last season, Jacobs rushed for 1,024 yards and nine touchdowns. He also had 27 receptions for 296 yards. All of that, despite missing the first four games with a leg injury.
Jacobs, who averaged 6.8 yards per carry, ran for at least 100 yards in each of the seven full games in which he played in 2018.
Jacobs appears to be recovered from that leg injury as well as a collarbone injury he suffered in the Class 6AI state semifinal against Broken Arrow.
Throughout the offseason, Jacobs’ workout feats have populated social media.
One highlight showed him lifting 355 pounds on a single-leg squat.
Despite adding 20 pounds to his frame, Jacobs still has managed to maintain his 40-yard dash time. A video clip showed Jacobs clocking a laser time of 4.59 seconds on the field at Owasso Stadium.
“The numbers he has put up in the offseason have been nothing short of spectacular,” Blankenship said about Jacobs. “Now that (college coaches) have been here to see him during the spring, he checks all the boxes for them.”
Already known for a physical running style, Jacobs said his body is even better equipped for the punishment going into the fall.
“I feel as if I’m way stronger,” Jacobs said. “I know this year it’ll be 10 times different. (Last year), in my mind, I was bigger than what I really was. Now that I’m actually more physical and bigger, it’s actually easier to take those hits to people.
“I’m just ready for the season.”
At Baker Mayfield's football camp, the former OU quarterback ran a play with Sooner legends Billy Simms and Barry Switzer