Carter Jacobs was a top 200 safety coming out of high school, rated a three-star prospect by ESPN and Rivals. After playing for American Heritage, the Ft. Lauderdale, Florida native signed his letter of intent for the Cincinnati Bearcats and that has appeared to be a good decision for the safety, who has been a consistent and frequent contributor to the UC secondary in his first three seasons.
It starts with durability, an area Jacobs has been pretty strong in. Although he only played 11 games last season, he saw action in 13 contests both as a freshman and as a sophomore. That gives him 37 games played in his career, which is certainly the type of experience that Luke Fickell and the rest of the new defensive staff can work with and lean on.
As we discussed when catching up with Tyrell Gilbert earlier this week, the safety position will take on a new look this season with Zach Edwards gone. Gilbert has the most to gain from that, as he will be looked at to be the leader for the position group and perhaps the secondary as a whole. However, Jacobs also has a great opportunity to improve as well, as he is the most experienced safety on the roster and in for a bump in playing time since Perry Young has been moved to linebacker.
So what does Jacobs bring to the table? Besides relative durability, he also has been a hard hitter and effective tackler. He set a career-high with 43 stops last season, which was more than any other secondary player besides Edwards. He also came through to force two fumbles and half a tackle for loss. If he becomes a consistent starter, then he will most definitely surpass those career marks and be one of the more productive tacklers on the team. As far as coverage goes, Jacobs is not a standout, or hasn’t been to this point. He had just one pass defended a year ago, which was only the second of his career. In addition, he has never snagged an interception.
Jacobs is far from a star player, but he has the experience and tackling ability to be given plenty of chances, even if its not as a starter, for the Bearcats in 2017.