As the early signing period approaches, the Iowa Hawkeyes and Kirk Ferentz are eyeing a number of recruits to close out the recruiting class of 2019. Perhaps more importantly though, they’ve been spending the last several weeks visiting the existing commits.
Perhaps no visit was more important than the one Coach Ferentz took today, when he traveled with defensive coordinator Phil Parker and linebackers coach Seth Wallace to Clayton, Ohio.
The trio was in town to see one of their top gets in the class of 2019 - linebacker Jestin Jacobs. Jacobs is rated as a 4-star by 247 Sports (3-stars on Rivals) and has been solidly committed since back in May.
@CoachK_Bell @CoachSWallace @TylerBarnesIOWA @HawkeyeFootball @CoachBFerentz pic.twitter.com/BJVzQPGvFq— Jestin (@jestinjacobs__) May 11, 2018
More recently though, things have become somewhat complicated with Jacobs. His recruitment had long been shut down. Then he was named an Army All-American in early November.
The enormous honor came right around the time he got his ratings boost and garnered him plenty of national attention. From there, it took only 3 days for his home state school to finally pull the trigger on making an offer.
Ohio State joined the picture on November 5th.
Blessed to receive an offer from The Ohio State University ⚪️⚫️ @OhioStateFB #Gobucks pic.twitter.com/E5E1tAjd1z— Jestin (@jestinjacobs__) November 6, 2018
Ohio State is a premier program and an offer carries a lot of weight for any prospect. That weight can feel like the world for a prospect from the state of Ohio.
Almost immediately there was buzz about a potential for Jacobs to flip his commitment. For his part, he said all the right things when asked. But that did little to ease Hawkeye fans back from the ledge when Jacobs took an unofficial visit to Ohio State for the Michigan game on November 24th.
Iowa’s infamous “no visit” policy led to instant speculation the Hawkeyes would pull the offer. They did not.
Despite some high profile instances where that was the case (cough, Eno Benjamin, cough), Kirk has always maintained the policy was on a case-by-case basis. That certainly appeared to be true with the staff not only keeping the offer, but sending assistants each week permitted to visit with Jacobs, who maintained he was still committed.
Then came the departure of Urban Meyer and Iowa fans collectively breathed a sigh of relief. It may have been a bit premature, however, as new head coach Ryan Day wasted no time reintroducing himself to Jacobs with an in-home visit. That visit came with an invitation for Jacobs to make a return trip to Columbus on an official visit.
That invitation became a reality last weekend. Again, Hawkeye fans road the roller coaster, this time assuming the offer would certainly be pulled and Jacobs would be a Buckeye.
Again they were wrong. And again the staff doubled down, sending the trio of Ferentz, Parker and Wallace to visit Jacobs in his home last night.
That visit was rewarded as Jacobs reaffirmed his commitment to the Hawkeyes today.
I will be signing on Wednesday, Dec 19 @ 3:00pm at Northmont Highschool. Everyone is welcome ‼️ contact me for info. pic.twitter.com/sD1GcxugNe— Jestin (@jestinjacobs__) December 14, 2018
It’s a big win for the Iowa staff. Sometimes the biggest recruiting coups are not those over new commits, but over the ones you are able to keep. This seems to be a big one.
As a reminder, Jacobs finished his senior season with 38 tackles, 4 sacks and a fumble recovery on defense. His Northmont team finished the year 10-2.
With all the recruiting buzz behind him, Jacobs now intends to sign next week and enroll early at Iowa in January.