When Taivon Jacobs committed to Ohio State on July 19, he had no reservations or worries about his decision. He had envisioned playing inside Ohio Stadium as a kid, so picking the Buckeyes was like a dream come true.
But two weeks before National Signing Day, Jacobs began to have second thoughts. With Columbus, Ohio, more than 400 miles away from his hometown of District Heights, Jacobs thought of his family – especially his 1-year-old daughter, Bailey – and pondered whether spending the next four years of his life away from home was such a good idea.
Those thoughts came full circle Wednesday, when Jacobs flipped his commitment from Ohio State to Maryland. After spending the evening going over his options with his mother, father, daughter and brother – Levern Jacobs, a rising sophomore at Maryland – all present, Jacobs decided leaving his family wasn’t what he wanted to do after all.
“It’s been a hard decision,” Jacobs said. “Ohio State was my dream school, but as the weeks and months went on, I got into reality and talked it over with my family. It’s been some rough days and rough nights these past few weeks. At the end of the day, I made my decision.
“I was up until like 3 a.m. just thinking what to do. I had to think about everything, not just myself. This is going to be my life the next four years. I want to be happy where I’m at. I feel as though this is the best place for me to be with my family here.”
There were plenty of factors that drew Jacobs to Maryland. His older brother plays there. It’s the hometown school. He has a good relationship with wide receivers coach Lee Hull and head coach Randy Edsall.
But in the end, it was staying close to home and his daughter that was the deciding factor.
“Taivon has a child,” Jacobs’ mother said during the ceremony. “As parents, sometimes we have to make tough decisions, not always for ourselves but for the betterment of your family.”
At Maryland, Jacobs will play wide receiver and factor into the return game. The 5-foot-10, 160-pound speedster runs a sub-4.4 second 40-yard-dash and plans to run track in College Park.
After Jacobs announced his intentions to reevaluate his commitment to Ohio State, rumors swirled that it was because the Buckeyes had accepted a commitment from all-purpose back Dontre Wilson. But Jacobs said that had nothing to do with his de-commitment from the Buckeyes and said Ohio State assistant coach Zach Smith continued to recruit him.
“Ohio State, Zach Smith, he never backed down,” Jacobs said. “He’s a good recruiter and a great friend. We were close.”
But despite his relationship with the Buckeyes’ coaching staff and his claim that Ohio State was his “dream school,” Jacobs flipped to the Terps and gave Maryland a commitment from one of the fastest players in the class of 2013.
“[Maryland] stayed with me the whole time,” Jacobs said. “They first offered me when I was in 10th grade. It was truly a blessing. I gave them the most praise because they were the first school to show me love. I stuck it out with them because it’s my hometown. Everyone wants to support their hometown. I just feel this is where I need to be.”
NOTE: Jacobs suffered a partial ACL tear in his right knee during the practices leading up to the Crab Bowl. He had surgery to repair the injury Jan. 11 and is hopeful he’ll be able to return in time for fall camp.
“They said I have a great chance to come back and be a true freshman, but if not then I’ll redshirt,” Jacobs said.