Jacobs continues to improve his stock

By Gus Bode

Standing in nothing but his Joe Boxers and cleats, former Saluki running back Brandon Jacobs toed McAndrew Stadium’s 50-yard line in anticipation of another 40-yard dash.

Trudging on despite the 41-degree weather and the wet field conditions, and with a host of current and former Saluki players and coaches looking on, the chiseled 6-foot-4, 260-pound running back exploded downfield.

“I didn’t get cold because I was full of heat,” said Jacobs, stripped down as if he was weighing in for a boxing match. “I wanted to go out and run as fast as I could, and that’s what I did.”


Jacobs said he ran times of 4.40 and 4.47, a significant improvement from his solid performance at February’s NFL Combine. Jacobs also improved his bench press reps, 23, up from 19, his broad jump and every other drill he performed for the scouts on hand Wednesday, including representatives from the Bears, Colts, Jaguars and Bengals.

Jacobs, whose days have seemingly gone by 40 yards at a time in preparation for April’s NFL Draft, didn’t have to run at Wednesday’s pro timing day in Carbondale. But as is the motto of his agent, Justin Schulman of Athlete’s First, when healthy, perform the drills.

“Especially for Brandon coming from a small school,” Schulman said. “Even though he had a year at Auburn, there’s always going to be questions, ‘is it legit?’ or ‘is it real?'”

According to Schulman, Jacobs is legit.

He said that Jacobs is considered a fourth to sixth round draft pick with the potential to sneak into the third round. Schulman said Jacobs has helped himself considerably since the close of the 2004 football season.

“He is one of those who has definitely improved his stock during the post-season process,” Schulman said. “The way to move up is to do exactly what he did, which is to do exactly what is asked of you and do it well.”

Schulman added:”One thing that you can’t measure that he has in his favor is that he has a good head on his shoulders.”


Wednesday’s timing day marked the final time Jacobs will work out for scouts, though he has a visit set up with the Philadelphia Eagles April 4 to check out the facilities and to get to know team personnel.

Schulman, who said Jacobs could move up if a team really likes him and doesn’t want anyone else to take him, also said that Minnesota has recently looked into spending time with Jacobs.

Jacobs is projected as a running back by most teams, although Cincinnati, Jacksonville and Denver are interested in him as a tight end. Jacobs worked extra with a Jaguar and a Bengal representative on pass routes Wednesday evening.

Performing along with Jacobs for the scouts Wednesday were former Salukis Terry Jackson, Alexis Moreland, Elmer McDaniel, Andrew Franklin, James Smith and junior Yemi Akisanya.

While those Salukis hold on to slim hopes of being drafted – Jackson has the best chance of them all other than Jacobs – SIU assistant coach Brian Anderson said they all performed well and should get invited to training camps or sign undrafted free agent contracts.

“They did a good job of helping all of themselves out. The conditions were not great, but they went out and did it,” Anderson said. “They could have went indoors, but they went through it and did a good job. I think they’ll all have an opportunity.”

As for Jacobs, who certainly expects to be the first Saluki drafted since 1997 when Damon Jones was selected in the fifth round by the Jaguars, all he can do now is wait.

But he’s not stressing over the next month of inactivity.

“Workout and wait. Workout and wait,” Jacobs said of his routine for the next month. “I might go fishing on draft day.”

Reporter Adam Soebbing can be reached at [email protected]