Chuck Jacobs couldn’t have asked for a better way to go out in his senior season with the Aggies.
Utah State, with a win Saturday over 19th-ranked Louisiana Tech, can clinch a share of the Western Athletic Conference title.
“You always want to go out with a nice undefeated record in your conference, you always want to play hard and get an opportunity to play in the championship game,” Jacobs said.
Both the Aggies (8-2 overall) and Bulldogs (9-1) are 4-0 in WAC play.
Capturing the league crown would mean the world to Jacobs.
“It’s like if I were in the NBA, in the finals going for the ring — it’s everything,” USU’s 6-foot, 178-pound wide receiver said. “This is what you play for. It’s what you play any sport for. You play to be a champion.”
Jacobs is the kind of weapon any team vying for a championship would love to have.
The native of Richmond, Calif., is the fastest wide receiver on the team. He has game-changing ability with his quickness and is very dangerous in space.
“Chuck has been an explosive player,” USU offensive coordinator Matt Wells said. “He’s been a better blocker than he was last year. He’s more physical on the perimeter. I’ve been really proud of him the way that he’s come and worked during each week and during practice. I think it’s showed up on Saturday.”
Jacobs has caught 28 passes for 446 yards and five touchdowns this season. Five of his receptions were of the explosive variety — plays of 20 yards or more — including a long of 64.
As a junior in 2011, Jacobs tallied just 20 receptions for 218 yards and two touchdowns.
What’s been the biggest difference between last year and this year for Jacobs?
“I’ve been buying into (the system) and improving myself in the camps and working out,” Jacobs said. “(Trying to prove) that I’m worthy enough to get a shot for the ball to be thrown my way, and getting open for me to get that chance.”
Jacobs is a threat to score any time he touches the ball, which is why the Aggies also have him returning kickoffs. He leads the team with 13 returns for 306 yards — an average of 23.5 return — including a long of 55.
“Game days are important to a lot of guys, but they’re really important to Chuck,” Wells said. “He knows there’s not very many left and he understands the importance of it. He’s a guy that has put in time on his own and I think he’s starting to reap some of those rewards and I’m really happy for him.”
Jacobs has certainly become a fan favorite. His love of the game and care-free attitude even has Wells’ children looking forward to the receiver’s pre-game routine.
“My three kids (Jadyn, Ella and Wyatt) love watching him in pre-game and that night I always hear what Chuck Jacobs did in pre-game,” Wells said. “They love watching him in pre-game, of what he’s going to do and who he’s going to do it with, and they enjoy watching him come out of the helmet.”
What exactly does Jacobs do when he comes out of the Aggies’ inflatable helmet before the game starts?
He spreads his arms out wide and glides across the field — imitating a bird — before landing in the south end zone, where he makes sure to recognize the USU fans.
“It’s kind of like my own personal air show,” Jacobs said. “For receivers like me, taking flight, taking myself to a different level, clearing my mind and soaring over the whole field like a bird, just gliding, coming into the end zone ... and just flexing my wings out.”
Jacobs does his air show on the road and at home.
“He enjoys Saturdays. He enjoys the game-day atmosphere, he enjoys the competition,” Wells said. “I think there’s times we all wish he was dialed in like we’re dialed in, but he’s dialed in, in his own way. And, it is a care-free attitude, but he has played well and has played up to his standards.”
Ironically, Louisiana Tech also offered Jacobs out of Laney College (Oakland, Calif.). Why did he decide to become an Aggie instead?
“The coaches,” Jacobs said. “It was more the coaching than anything.”
When asked what his favorite thing about USU is, Jacobs didn’t hesitate to answer.
“The players,” he said. “Each player has their own individual background, but as soon as we come into the locker room, it’s a big relief. You can look to your left and see people laughing, giggling, playing, throwing little tape balls at each other, doing a little jump shot shooting in there.
“Everybody is together, it doesn’t matter where you’re at — D-line, O-line, linebackers.”
Not only does Jacobs love football, but he also loves the galaxy.
“I like the stars, I like the moon,” Jacobs said. “I’m kind of a guy that stares off at the sky, just trying to find a star — always trying to find something that’s bright that means something.”
A victory Saturday would sure mean something to Jacobs and the Aggies.