It was a midday phone call that John Jacobs Sr. wasn’t expecting.
Still, it was one that he fully welcomed.
Tuesday afternoon, his son—Shawnee High star quarterback John Jacobs III—called from school to inform his father that he had reached a definitive decision as to where he would be playing college football in 2015.
“I just feel likes it gives me a peace of mind and not worrying about colleges and not worrying about where I’m going,” Jacobs III told Bleacher Report Friday night in a telephone interview from Shawnee, Oklahoma.
The Jacobs household can now breathe a collective sigh of relief, considering Jacobs III’s lengthy recruiting essentially ended with the junior phenom announcing that he plans to play collegiate football at East Carolina University.
His commitment to ECU comes days before Shawnee is scheduled to begin its weeklong spring practices, a stretch in which the 6'2", 215-pounder was also scheduled to audition before a slew of Division I colleges.
Rated as the nation’s No. 1 dual-threat quarterback according to various recruiting analysts, Jacobs III choose the Pirates of Conference USA over a number of schools, most notably West Virginia, Oklahoma, Texas-San Antonio, Utah State, Nevada, Arizona, Wyoming, Arizona State, Oregon State, Tulsa and Memphis, among others, according to his father.
“He was having a lot of colleges recruiting him and several came in to watch him throw,” Jacobs Sr. said. “But there was something really special about ECU. They really encouraged him. They showed him a lot of love. We have some extended family (in Greenville, North Carolina) and they have some really great dynamics. They win, they throw, and they need a good quarterback for 2015.”
While Jacobs Sr. wouldn’t say specifically whether his son choosing ECU was due largely to the possibility that he could contribute immediately, he said he’s confident Jacobs III will get a fair shot at playing a significant amount of time as a true freshman.
“I will say this: He will compete to play early,” Jacobs Sr. said. “It doesn’t matter the size of the school. John just feels in his heart that ECU is a special place.”
In Jacobs III, the Pirates will be getting an athlete who has developed a reputation for extending plays. He is coming off arguably the best season in recent memory for an Oklahoma high school quarterback, leading the state in yards passing (3,550) and rushing (1,250) in 2013.
In addition, he garnered 69 touchdowns during his first two seasons as a starter. Given his remarkable play the previous two seasons, he seems on pace to break an array of state records during a senior campaign in which the Wolves will likely be the No. 1-ranked team in Oklahoma’s Class 5A. Last year, he took coach Billy Brown’s Shawnee team to a 9-3 mark and a trip to the state championship game.
Jacobs III admittedly has already established goals of eclipsing the 5,000-yard (3,000 yards passing and 2,000 rushing) mark in his final prep season, a feat that would enable him to eclipse the 11,000-yard mark in total offense for his career.
As for signing with ECU, his primary focus is to continue what has been a memorable high school career.
“I want to light up the Carolina skies,” Jacobs III said.
Much like’s he doing currently in America’s heartland.
Andre Johnson, a senior writer for MemphiSport, is a regular contributor for Bleacher Report. To reach Johnson, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, follow him on Twitter @AJ_Journalist.
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