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Player of the Decade: Arroyo Grande's Seth Jacobs is our first nominee
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Player of the Decade

Player of the Decade: Arroyo Grande's Seth Jacobs is our first nominee

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We are on a quest to find the Player of the Decade for 2010-2019. We will be publishing profiles on 10 nominees for the honor then allow our readers to vote for the Player of the Decade. First up is Arroyo Grande's Seth Jacobs. He played quarterback, running back, tight end, safety and linebacker with the Eagles before eventually earning a starting linebacker at Oklahoma State. Is Jacobs the Player of the Decade?

Tom Goossen, who coached Arroyo Grande's football team to a CIF Southern Section title in 2011, once said Seth Jacobs would probably be his team's best offensive lineman if he wanted to be.

The thing is, Jacobs looked nothing like an offensive lineman. Rather, he looked like a quarterback. And also a running back, tight end and linebacker molded into a single player.

Still, Goossen said, “I have a feeling if we needed him at guard, he would probably make a great guard.”

“When he plays offense for us, his speed and size make a difference,” Goossen added. “He has played every position for us from wide receiver to tight end, to running back."

Jacob is a member of the Santa Maria Times' All-Decade Team for 2010-19 and a nominee for Player of the Decade as chosen by the sports staff at the Times. We will feature the 10 nominees and allow readers to then vote for the Player of the Decade.

Jacobs, at 6-foot-2, 190 pounds, was on that 2011 team that won a CIF title for Goossen with a win over Culver City. He then went on to play at Oklahoma State and earn a starting linebacker job for the Cowboys. Jacobs made an impact in Stillwater, playing in 31 games over three seasons with 168 total tackles, 15 tackles for loss and four interceptions. Jacobs abruptly retired from football heading into his senior season in 2016.

Jacobs played on varsity throughout his four years at Arroyo Grande. The Eagles had him start at quarterback as a sophomore. They then used him at running back and receiver.

No matter where he was at on offense, though, he was always making an impact on defense. But even on that side of the ball he displayed versatility. Jacobs could rush the quarterback, play any linebacker spot and drop in coverage as a roving safety.

Jacobs made 344 total tackles during his high school career, 251 of those solo stops. He also had six sacks and eight interceptions.

On offense, Jacobs rushed for 16 touchdowns and also caught four touchdown passes while throwing four more. He was named the CIF Southern Section Western Division Defensive Player of the Year after the Eagles won the CIF title in 2011.

Jacobs rushed for 530 yards on only 57 carries with 10 touchdowns that season. He also caught 20 passes for 396 yards and three more scores. On defense, he had 151 total tackles (107 solo) with nine tackles for loss, two sacks, two interceptions, eight pass breakups and two forced fumbles.

The Eagles went 13-1 in 2011 and earned a state Top 25 ranking to end the year. They lost to Lompoc 38-28 in the season-opening game (when Jacobs made 24 tackles and Lavon Coleman carried the ball 37 times) and then won 13 straight. Lompoc and Arroyo Grande both won CIF titles that season.

At Oklahoma State, Jacobs red-shirted before eventually starting 26 consecutive games. He was named the Cactus Bowl Defensive MVP and won the Barry Sanders Award, which is presented to the Oklahoma State player with the most contribution and the least recognition.

Jacobs announced his retirement from the game in January of 2016.

"My neck has been a problem for me since my sophomore year of high school," Jacobs wrote in a statement on Facebook back then. "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 (numbness and shooting pains) 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."

We are on a quest to find the Player of the Decade for 2010-2019. We will be publishing profiles on 10 nominees for the honor then allow our readers to vote for the Player of the Decade. First up is Arroyo Grande's Seth Jacobs. He played quarterback, running back, tight end, safety and linebacker with the Eagles before eventually earning a starting linebacker at Oklahoma State. Is Jacobs the Player of the Decade?

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Related to this story

  • Updated

Taua, who graduated from Lompoc High in 2014 and played defensive line and fullback at UCLA, is our second nominee for Player of the Decade. The sports staff at the Santa Maria Times, Lompoc Record and Santa Ynez Valley News polled area coaches for nominees and will allow readers to vote for Player of the Decade after all the nominees have been announced. Arroyo Grande's Seth Jacobs, the first nominee, was announced last week.

  • Updated

Nipomo's Nick Kimball is the seventh Player of the Decade nominee. The rest of the Player of the Decade nominees, from Northern Santa Barbara and South San Luis Obispo counties, will be released in the coming weeks. He joins the previous nominees, Arroyo Grande grads Bradley Mickey and Seth Jacobs, former Lompoc High standouts Lavon Coleman and Ainuu Taua, former Santa Maria quarterback Blake Truhitte and former Santa Ynez receiver Gabe Prendergast.

Once all the nominees have been announced, readers will have the opportunity to vote for Player of the Decade.

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