McNeese State tight end Nic Jacobs smiles during the fourth quarter of the Cowboys' rout of South Florida Saturday night. (Associated Press)
Last Modified: Wednesday, September 04, 2013 10:12 AM
Nic Jacobs knew transferring to McNeese State from LSU would turn him into more of a receiving option.
He just didn’t think it would turn him into the receiving option.
The 6-foot-5, 255-pound tight end was quarterback Cody Stroud’s favorite weapon in Saturday’s 53-21 win at South Florida, grabbing five receptions for 122 yards and two touchdowns.
“It’s more than I really even expected,” Jacobs said. “I expected to get the ball, but not that much. But the plays were called, so I did what I had to do. They threw it to me and I had to catch it.”
In his first game as a Cowboy, Jacobs has already plastered his name in the school record book. His 78-yard touchdown reception tied a Tim Leger connection with Chris Fontenot in 1996 as the longest in McNeese history by a tight end. And the two scores are a single-game high for a Cowboys tight end.
Those feats earned him Southland Offensive Player of the Week, as well as recognition as the College Performance Awards national tight end of the week.
“I’ve been kind of a humble person my whole life, so whenever someone tells me something like that it goes over my head,” Jacobs said. “People were like ‘Nic, you were player of the week.’
‘Oh, for real?’
“Or people texting me that I was on SportsCenter. ‘I was on SportsCenter? When did all this happen? From just one game?’”
At LSU, Jacobs was essentially an über-athletic offensive lineman who occasionally had a football thrown in his direction. His first game as a Cowboy matched the five receptions he had in two years as a Tiger. He never reached the end zone while in Baton Rouge.
“It’s sort of like a dream come true, but not quite,” Jacobs said. “It’s very satisfying knowing that hard work has paid off.”
This does not figure to be a one-game wonder scenario. The Bulls had trouble finding the right personnel and scheme to defend Jacobs, who had the speed to burn their secondary on his 78-yard score.
What’s more, Stroud didn’t even see Jacobs when he made the throw, trusting the tight end’s timing would be perfectly in sync.
“I threw it blind,” Stroud said. “(Lineman) Ben Jones was right in my way. I knew the cornerback was set, it was some type of Cover 2. So I threw it in the hole and saw him running down the sideline. The rest is history.”
For Football Championship Subdivision teams, that matchup will become an even bigger headache.
“He’s an easy target to throw it to because he’s so big-bodied,” Stroud said. “He’s going to cause a lot of trouble for defenses because he’s so big and he can run. Getting the ball into his hands is a good thing. We’ve got a lot of other playmakers, but he is definitely a good target to go to.”