Redshirt senior linebacker and Oklahoma State defensive stalwart Seth Jacobs has officially called it a career after numerous nagging injuries suffered during his career.
In a move that was widely anticipated by those close to the program, the would-be senior officially made the announcement on his Facebook page on Tuesday morning, and subsequently reposted it via Twitter:
Here is the full text for those that can’t view the Facebook post, or would rather not click on screenshots:
"“I have decided to leave the game and not return for my fifth year. I have had a wonderful learning experience while living in Stillwater and am forever grateful for the opportunity. I am beginning to value my body, health, and well being more than extending my career. Therefore, I will not be playing my last year of eligibility and will pursue a career outside of football.“I am writing to remain transparent to everybody who wants to know. Forgive me if it comes off as longwinded. I want to try and answer all of the questions on how I made the decision.”“Through the years, I have been a regular in the training room. From my redshirt year with my broken foot to now, I am consistently in the training room. I doubt that I have not been away from the training room any longer than two or three weeks.“The injuries that have caused the most pain these past two seasons were my AC separations and spinal stenosis. I sustained my AC separation the first play against West Virginia in 2014. I played with that injury through the rest of the season. After the season, I tried to rehab it, but it was still bothering me. Spring of 2015 I had my collarbone shaved down to try and help with the clicking in my shoulder. It got to a point before the season where it was manageable, but with the wear and tear of the season, it was bothering me again. I’m sure with rest, rehab, and strengthening it could be manageable. My shoulder is not the main factor in my decision for stepping away; it is my neck.“My neck has been a problem for me since my sophomore year of high school. If I get hit just right or jarred in the wrong way, I get numbness and shooting pains that go through my arms. When I was younger it didn’t happen to me nearly as much. This last season it was not uncommon for me to get a stinger any day I made contact with my head. With that being said, playing football does not take precedence over the quality of life I want to live.“I love football and I would never discourage anyone from playing it. I have played this game since I was 8 years old and enjoyed every phase, I know that it is time for me to step away. Thank you Cowboy family for this wonderful experience. I created lifetime friends through this experience and was proud to represent orange and black throughout the years.Go Pokes,Seth Jacobs"
The son of former University of Idaho and Canadian Football League player Jimmy Jacobs, Seth Jacobs came to Oklahoma State via Arryo Grande High School in California, choosing the Cowboys over scholarship offers from Oregon, UCLA, Arkansas, Washington, Oregon State, and others.
He was an impact player from the moment he stepped on the field as a redshirt freshman, and had a breakout season as a sophomore in 2014, kicking off the season with an interception of Heisman winner Jameis Winston during the Cowboys’ opener against Florida State. Jacobs ended the season as the defensive MVP of the 2015 Cactus Bowl, where his eight tackles and a forced fumble helped the team to a 30-22 win over Washington. Prior to the Cactus Bowl, Jacobs played a crucial roll in the Pokes’ overtime Bedlam victory, racking up 13 tackles, a forced fumble, and a pass break-up during the overtime period.
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2015 saw even more production for Jacobs, who played through several injuries, and often with a club-like cast on his right hand. Despite the injuries and cast, Jacobs still accounted 65 tackles (8.5 for loss,) two quarterback hurries, and two interceptions, including one in a close win against Texas in which he used his cast hand to hold onto a deflected pass.
Jacobs graduated in December with a degree in Strategic Communications, and his retirement ends a streak of 26 consecutive starts. With Jacobs’ departure, it is widely believed that fellow redshirt senior Devante Averette will fill the starting weakside linebacker role in 2016. Averette posted 30 tackles, two sacks, and two interceptions in 2015.
It was no secret that Jacobs was a favorite of both players and coaches, as his 2014 Barry Sanders award attests to. The award is presented to the player with the most contribution to the team with the least recognition. Defensive coordinator and position coach Glenn Spencer once even went so far as to say that “If I had a daughter, I’d want him to date her. Period. Anybody in the world would be crazy if they didn’t want a guy like him dating their daughter.”
Mike Gundy shared his thoughts on Twitter today following the announcement:
I think I speak for everyone when I say that it was a joy and honor watching him play during his career, especially with how he carried himself and represented the team and school. Best of luck to him with whatever he chooses to do — I’m sure he’ll find just as much success, if not more.