Jacobs to join Saluki backfield

By Gus Bode

Auburn transfer Former Coffeyville teammates next fall

Hidden in a glut of talent in the Auburn backfield last season, running back Brandon Jacobs will get the opportunity show off his unique talents – and dimensions – next fall with the SIU football team, the Daily Egyptian learned.

When the financial aid agreement with Jacob’s signature scribbled on it spits out from the fax machine at the SIU football office, his transfer from Auburn to SIU will be official. The fax could arrive as early as today, but Jacobs was unsure. Jacobs, who is currently in his hometown of Napoleonville, La., will arrive in Carbondale sometime this summer. The 6-foot-4, 260-pound running back entering his senior season has decided to transfer to SIU and will add to the talented bevy of running backs in the Saluki backfield.


After flirting with the idea of transferring here as the Salukis made their push into the Division I-AA playoffs, the thought of him actually doing so appeared to be dead after former Minnesota star running back Terry Jackson II arrived in Carbondale. News reports began swirling with rumors that Jacobs was staying at Auburn but switching to linebacker, and others stated he was looking at Division I-A programs to transfer to.

But after a visit to SIU last weekend sponsored by former Coffeyville teammates and current Salukis Jamarcus Jordan, Frank Johnson and close friend Tony McClain, an Auburn transfer himself, Jacobs decided to play for the Salukis.

“I am real excited about being able to be with those guys again,” Jacobs said. “When I left Carbondale, I wanted to cry after being with those guys for the first time in a long time.”

While at Coffeyville, Jacobs rushed for 1,349 yards and 17 touchdowns his freshman season before attracting scholarships from nearly every perennial Top 25 Division I-A program in the country after gaining 1,899 yards and scoring 20 touchdowns his sophomore year. In his freshman season, Jacobs unseated former SIU star running back Muhammad Abdulqaadir from the starting role.

Though the vast majority of carries at Auburn went to the highly publicized runner Carnell “Cadillac” Williams, Jacobs amassed 446 yards with an average of 6.2 yards per carry.

Jacobs was featured in ESPN the Magazine following his performance Oct. 18 against Mississippi State where he rushed for a team-high 182 yards.

“When I was at Auburn, it had me questioning my faith as to what I could do,” Jacobs said. “I was never the one to sit the bench. I came out against Mississippi State, and it gave me some confidence back. It made me believe I could do the same thing I always did do.”


Currently, Jacobs is working out back home and said he is staying in shape. The last times he recalled running the 40-meter dash, he clocked in at 4.39 and 4.42 seconds. He said had he entered the NFL Draft after this season, he would have likely been selected in the first three rounds, but he wasn’t willing to take the chance.

While oftentimes transfers from large programs are hoping to increase their playing time and stats when they arrive at a Division I-AA program, that does appear to be the case with Jacobs. He will be joining Jackson, who rushed for 1,312 yards in 2002at Minnesota, and the two have spoken in clich about how they are focused on winning. If Jackson, a scat back, and Jacobs teamed up at the Division I-A level, chances are they would be discussed among the top tandems in the nation. Being that they are combining next season at the I-AA level could signify a record-breaking season for the Salukis.

“I met Terry Jackson, and he is a good guy,” Jacobs said. “Well, we are capable of a lot next season. We should win a lot of games. That is what really matters.”