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Penn State Football Preseason Top 10: No. 6 Curtis Jacobs

Let’s look at the potential impact of the leader of LBU.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: NOV 06 Penn State at Maryland Photo by Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

How He Got Here

Jacobs was a consensus four-star linebacker coming out of the prestigious McDonogh School in Owings Mills, MD. He committed to the Nittany Lions on Groundhog Day 2019, choosing Penn State over Florida, Notre Dame, Virginia Tech, Maryland, and Virginia. In his first season in 2020, Jacobs played in eight games, making nine tackles and breaking up a pass. Last season, he started 11 games and recorded 61 tackles, three sacks, and one interception. For his efforts, Jacobs was named Honorable Mention All-Big Ten by the media.

What to Expect in 2022

For Penn State to be successful in 2022, Jacobs will need to take a step forward, both as a playmaker on the field and leader off of the field. We’ve already seen his intent to do just this prior to the bowl game:

His athletic ability is not in question, so expect to see the outside linebacker chasing down wideouts and tight ends in coverage. Given the loss of Ellis Brooks and Brandon Smith, Jacobs will need to take a leap forward in terms of run defense to make up the deficit of the two linebackers and several others on the defensive line.

Without a doubt, Jacobs’ performance will go a long way to determining how good the defense will be. Manny Diaz’s defense should allow for more sacks and turnovers, paving the way for continued improvement for CuJa (thought I would try it once. Doesn’t quite roll off the tongue, does it?). 75 tackles, four sacks, and two interceptions sounds appropriate in 2022.