Jacobs hopes to join MAC’s elite QB’s

Upon his arrival at BGSU, no one could predict what Omar Jacobs would do for the team – not even him.

During his time here, Jacobs did more than anyone could have dreamed him to do in just two years as the Falcons’ starting quarterback. His school records may not be broken for a long time.

On Saturday, Jacobs has one more chance to make his case as one of the best BG football players ever, as he’ll await his name to be called in the NFL Draft. Jacobs could become the highest drafted football player of all time at BG. His expectations were high when he arrived at the University, but even Jacobs could not have predicted such an honorable distinction.

“I didn’t really expect to be the highest draft pick ever, but I did come in wanting to be the best,” he said. “Josh [Harris] set the bar, he did great things and I just had to come in and try to do the same types of things.”

The highest drafted BG football player is Charlie Williams, a cornerback taken in the third round (No. 92 overall) by the Dallas Cowboys in the 1995 draft.

BG quarterbacks coach Mick McCall did not expect Jacobs to make such an impact either, but was impressed by his accomplishments.

“I don’t think a lot of people had those kinds of expectations for him,” McCall said. “He was not recruited as much by the bigger schools. It’s a testament to him that he worked really hard and developed his skills.”

Jacobs has been projected by some analysts as the fourth best quarterback in the draft, behind sure-fire first-round picks Matt Leinart, Vince Young and Jay Cutler. This means Jacobs could be taken as soon as the second or third round.

NFL.com analyst Vic Carucci has Jacobs ranked as the fourth best quarterback. Pat Kirwan, a writer for the same Web site has Jacobs ranked sixth among all the available quarterbacks but projects him to be selected in the third round.

The draft is a tricky process. Teams change their minds frequently and since there are thousands of possible scenarios, the chances of correct predictions become slimmer as the draft continues. Jacobs is aware that a lot could happen.

“Well I’m hoping for the first day or early second day I guess but we’ll have to see how it goes,” he said.

Jacobs’ 2004 numbers exceeded any quarterback in Division I-A history as far as touchdown/interception ratio. He threw 41 touchdowns compared to just four interceptions. He also ran for four touchdowns on his way to becoming the Mid-American Conference Offensive Player of the Year.

In his first game of 2005 at Wisconsin, Jacobs picked up right where he left off with five touchdowns and 458 yards passing. His 2005 numbers were hindered though by inconsistency and a shoulder injury that caused him to miss three games. He still managed to throw for 26 scores and run for another.

There have been several quarterbacks drafted out of the MAC in recent years. The highest was Byron Leftwich out of Marshall who was taken seventh overall in 2003 by Jacksonville. Success has been somewhat of a theme for the group. Jacobs’ college career was as good as any of his conference foes. His pro career has the potential to match up as well.

“Is he that same caliber of a guy? I believe so,” McCall said. “He’s still learning a lot so it’s going to depend how he progresses with the team that takes him.”

Josh Harris preceded Jacobs as quarterback at BG. Harris was selected in the sixth round by the Baltimore Ravens. He spent a short amount of time there before a quick stint in Cleveland. Harris, now with the Columbus Destroyers of the Arena Football League, has spoken with Jacobs about the league and given him some pointers.

“He’s told me that it’s more of a business like atmosphere,” Jacobs said. “There are certain things that are different, its more performance-based but it’s still fun.”

If he had things his way, Jacobs would be drafted by the Miami Dolphins. He grew up in nearby Delray Beach, Fla.

“It would be nice if my family could come and see me play every week,” he said.

Whether Jacobs will receive the honor of being the highest drafted Falcon ever remains a mystery until Saturday. One thing is for certain – his former teammates, coaches and fans are all hoping for him to have a successful football future regardless of where he’s drafted.