Two-time All-Met wide receiver Taivon Jacobs grabbed a white University of Maryland hat off a table in the Suitland library on Wednesday and announced his plan to sign with the Terrapins instead of Ohio State.
The 5-foot-11, 155-pound wide receiver had long considered Ohio State his dream school and gave the Buckeyes an oral commitment in July, but he had also talked publicly about a day earlier about the factors pulling him to stay close to home.
Ultimately, he picked Maryland in large part because of his desire to stay near his 13-month old daughter Bailey, who was on hand for the announcement. After Jacobs put on the Terps hat, his mother, Rosalind, stood up and fought back tears as she described how the decision weighed on her son.
“As reality started to set in two weeks before signing day, I started actually thinking about stuff and how it would work out for me, how my family could come see me,” Jacobs said after posing for pictures with his family, including brother Levern, who is a rising sophomore wide receiver at Maryland. “At the end of the day, I had to make the best decision for me.”
Jacobs, also a standout sprinter, will miss the track season as he recovers from a partially torn anterior cruciate ligament suffered during practice for the Maryland Crab Bowl in December. He had surgery on Jan. 11 and hopes to return to the football field for fall camp.
In the fall, Jacobs raced to repeat All-Met honors at wide receiver, posting 1,065 receiving yards and 15 total touchdowns. He also picked off six passes on defense on the Rams’ push to the Maryland 4A South final.
Jacobs said he kept close contact with both Ohio State and Maryland in recent months.
Though he had developed a close relationship with Ohio State wide receivers coach Zach Smith, the player’s father, Levern, said his son was disappointed that Coach Urban Meyer did not accompany Smith on a home visit last week. On the Maryland side, the speedster said Terrapin wide receivers coach Lee Hull handled the bulk of his recruitment.
“Me and [Smith] were like this, like brothers,” Jacobs said, “but it takes more than one person to make you feel like you’re a family.”
Jacobs said he spent Tuesday night discussing his options with his parents and brother while looking after his daughter in their Temple Hills home and stayed up until 3 a.m. the night before as he tried to come to a decision.
On Wednesday, Jacobs said he wasn't sure of his ultimate decision until walking into the library where a host of family, teammates, students and teachers were waiting, along with his daughter, who was outfitted in a black vest with white polkadots.
“Being home [at Maryland], he felt as though he’s not going to miss out on the early years of [Bailey's] life,” Levern Jacobs said. “That’s important. He’s a good dad and that’s how I raised him. I can understand that decision.”
More coverage on AllMetSports.com
Earlier on Recruiting Insider: Jacobs to decide between Ohio State, Maryland on National Signing Day
2012 All-Met football team: Offense
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