Bonesville: The Authoritative Independent Voice of East Carolina
Daily News & Features from East Carolina, Conference USA and Beyond

Mobile Alpha Roundup Daily Beat Recruiting The Seasons Multimedia Historical Data Pirate Time Machine SportByte™ Weather





Put your ad message in front of 1,000's and 1,000's of Pirate fans. Call 252.637.2944 for flexible options & rates.




Tracking the Stars of the Future

Football Recruiting Report
Tuesday, December 29, 2009

By Sammy Batten

Help is on the way for ECU secondary

By Sammy Batten
All rights reserved.

Maybe it was because both starters are graduating, or perhaps the East Carolina coaching staff merely discovered a special athlete.

Regardless of the reason, the Pirates did secure some immediate help at the safety position for the 2010 season earlier this month by signing junior college transfer Bradley Jacobs to a national letter-of-intent.

Jacobs has played the last two seasons at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College where this season he was named to the Mississippi Athletic Conference of Junior Colleges all-state second team.

He helped the Bulldogs to a 9-3 record this season that included an MACJC South Division championship and a No. 8 ranking in the National Junior College Athletic Association/ poll.

The 6-foot, 190-pounder produced 46 solo tackles, 14 assists, three tackles for loss, a quarterback sack and two interceptions as a sophomore.

Jacobs said East Carolina became involved with him around mid-season and was the most serious of the teams pursuing him.

“I knew they were in Conference USA, but that was pretty much all I knew about them,'' Jacobs said. “They evaluated me for a while and then came through with an offer a couple of weeks before my visit (to Greenville).''

Jacobs came to Greenville on November 20 and watched the Pirates defeat UAB, 37-21, the next day at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium. He left with a great impression of the ECU and its football program.

“It was a great environment,'' Jacobs said. “The fans really love football there. That was the biggest thing that made an impression on me. That was the main thing I was looking for.

“Plus, I felt I could come in and play right away. They have a great team and they're a very close-knit group.''

Jacobs wound up making a verbal commitment to the Pirates about two weeks before the signing period for junior college players began on Dec. 16.

Because he has fulfilled graduation requirements for an Associate of Arts degree at Gulf Coast, Jacobs will be able to enroll at ECU in January.

The early enrollment by Jacobs will provide some much needed maturity at positions where the Pirates will graduate both starters in strong safety Levin Neal and free safety Van Eskridge. Directly behind those seniors on the depth chart heading into the Liberty Bowl game against Arkansas are two redshirt freshmen in Justin Venable and walk-on Jack Schultz.

“I'm an aggressive player. I'm a great tackler and I like to hit,'' Jacobs said.

Jacobs came by that aggressive nature honestly. His older brother, Brandon, was a four-year letterwinner as a running back at Mississippi from 2002 to 2005.

“He's had a great impact on me,'' Bradley Jacobs said of his brother. “He's passed on all the things he learned while going through high school and college about work ethic and life.''

The brothers grew up in Long Beach, MS, a Gulf Coast town that suffered severe damage during Hurricane Katrina. The Jacobs family was lucky that their home wasn't damaged.

“The hurricane devastated the town, but it bounced back pretty quick,'' Bradley Jacobs said. “We left town for about two weeks when it hit, but it didn't affect our house. Everything south of us, though, was basically gone.''

An all-around athlete, Bradley played everything from soccer to baseball to football growing up. By the time he reached Long Beach High School, he had focused his concentration on football and baseball.

Jacobs was good enough at Long Beach playing running back and safety to receive recruiting attention from schools like Louisiana-Lafayette and Nichols State. But because he wanted to play for a major program like his brother, Jacobs opted for two years at a junior college to help improve his recruiting stock.

The strategy worked as the Pirates found a player who can compete immediately for playing time in their secondary.

“I think there's a big opportunity, if I come in and work hard and learn the defense, to have a chance to start,'' Jacobs said. “East Carolina has a great defensive scheme. I've watched them a lot this season on TV. From the defensive line to the secondary, they look stout. I just hope I can get in there and become part of that.''

E-mail Sammy Batten

Sammy Batten's Archives

12/29/2009 02:54:03 AM


©2001-2002-2003-2004-2005-2006-2007-2008-2009-2010-2011-2012-2013 All rights reserved.
Articles, logos, graphics, photos, audio files, video files and other content originated on this site are the proprietary property of
None of the articles, logos, graphics, photos, audio files, video files or other content originated on this site may be reproduced without written permission.
This site is not affiliated with East Carolina University. View's Privacy Policy. Advertising contact: 252-349-3280; Editorial contact:; 252-444-1905.