120 Players You Need To
Fresno State LB Ben Jacobs
Who is Ben Jacobs? ...
There are few harder hitters and few tougher linebackers in college
football than Ben Jacobs ... and he has yet to get any national
attention despite being such a physical inside presence.
guided missile for the Bulldog defense over the last two years,
he followed up an 81-tackle season
by making a team-leading 113 stops with 5.5 tackles for loss.
Considering he has the talent and the production to be a leading
preseason candidate in the Preseason WAC Defensive Player of the
Year race, he's unassuming, humble, and unlike a star in any way.
However, he's a leader.
Jacobs isn't all that big at a rangy
6-3 and 225 pounds, and he had to hit the weights hard just to get
to that point. Expected to be nothing more than a promising reserve
when he first came to Fresno, he had to play early on as a redshirt
freshman after starter Ahijah Lane got knocked out in the last practice
before the 2007 season started. Jacobs produced from day one even
through it took him a while to figure out what he was doing. His job
was simple: hit the ball-carrier. One of the WAC's best at providing
the big pop, opposing offenses now have to gameplan around avoiding
From his spot in the middle, he has done a great job
over the last few years of sniffing out plays and coming up with the
big stop when needed.
“Ben is a player who has great instincts and football
savvy," said Fresno State head coach Pat Hill. "He’s tough and smart and
always around the football. He can bring the lumber and hit you. He’s
going to be the best linebacker we’ve ever had here when it’s all said
Jacobs' best game so far was ...
vs. Texas A&M in 2007. It was only the
second game of his career, after being thrown to the wolves a week
earlier making seven stops in his debut. Not only did he come through
with a big game in the crushing 47-45 triple loss to Texas A&M, he
earned the unquestioned respect of his teammates and grew into a leader
of the front seven. Just two games into his career, he became the man mainly because he showed no fear in taking on the
massive Aggie fullback, Jorvorskie Lane, time and again. He made 16
tackles, still the most he has made in a game.
Why you should care about Jacobs...
With all the injuries and all the problems Fresno State had last year
against the run, Jacobs turned into one of the few consistent players.
Often a one-man gang thanks to a line that struggled as the season wore
on, he was a steady big hitter who was one of the few tone-setters on
the defense. This year, he'll be the leader of a good returning group
that should be far stronger and won't force him to do as much. A
near-lock for the All-WAC team after two excellent years, he's just
getting started. So far he has made 194 tackles and will only get better
with more and more responsibility heaped upon him.
Potential ... Along with being a high-character playmaker who'll do
whatever the coaches ask of him, he's a leader on the field. He might
not be the self-promoting type off the field, but he could be the type
of player who gets taken late in the 2011 draft and then hangs on
because he'll make every play when he gets the shot and will be a key
special teamer. He'll light up the scouting tape with his hitting
ability and potential to fit someone's inside linebacker role.
... He's not huge by NFL linebacker standards, looking like a beefed
up safety, but he'll have to prove he's fast enough to work on the
outside at the next level. No, he can't be a big defensive back. While
he'll always be around the ball, he'll have to run a high 4.6 to get too
much notice from the scouts. At his size and with his instincts, he'll
have to start getting into the backfield on a more regular basis, even
though that's not what he's asked to do.
A cool thing about
Jacobs that you
probably didn't know ... Not just a great football player, he was a
Nevada state champion discuss thrower in high school and finished second
in the state as a wrestler.
2007: 81 tackles, 2 sacks, 6
tackles for loss
2008: 113 tackles, 1 sack, 5.5 tackles for
loss, five broken up passes
Statistics, information and photo provided by the
Fresno State sports information department. Photo by Ryan Watamura