When Jacksonville Jaguars draft pick Leon Jacobs first arrived at Golden Valley, he only wanted to play basketball. Then-football coach Robert Fisher had other ideas.
“I was trying to convince him to play football and he said ‘No, I’m going to play basketball,’” Fisher said.
“And finally he came out and I was just ecstatic. I know the type of kid he is and the talent he has. He made an impact as soon as he walked on the field.”
In his senior year with the Grizzlies, Jacobs tallied 19 tackles (13 of the solo variety) and three sacks before heading to the University of Wisconsin for a college career that included 142 career tackles and 6.5 sacks.
And on Saturday afternoon, he became the first Golden Valley football player to be selected in the NFL Draft.
“That’s what we constantly push for and try to get our kids to do is just continue to work hard and if you have a dream to play college ball, you have a dream to play NFL, dreams are possible if you put in the time and effort to get it done,” Fisher said.
Jacobs, who graduated from Golden Valley in 2012, was selected in the seventh round as the No. 230 overall pick and was lauded by executive vice president of football operations Tom Coughlin in a press conference following the draft.
“Very fast, very physical at outside linebacker primarily, special teams player, we look forward to working with him and developing him,” Coughlin said.
Returns to the Santa Clarita Valley are typical for Jacobs and Fisher keeps in touch with him on a regular basis, sometimes even having him over for dinner.
“It’s a great thing for a great person,” Fisher said. “He really truly deserves it and being drafted means a lot to him … I think he has an exciting future.”