It’s a good bet the departure of defensive back Jerry Jacobs was, at best, a mutual parting of the ways with Arkansas and it could actually be some addition by subtraction.
If Andrew Hutchinson hadn’t asked Sam Pittman specifically about Jacobs adding to the depth in the secondary this week against Texas A&M, a now-deleted Twitter post is all we’d have to go on.
That posting said:
“After much prayer and discussion with my family, I’ve decided that it is best for me to opt out of my final year and declare for the NFL draft. I have worked long and hard for the opportunity to play in the NFL and believe this is the right time to pursue this goal. I’m humbled and excited to attack this next challenge.”
Okay, so that basically has nothing to do with the Covid-19 opt-outs we’ve seen. This year has been so weird I’m not sure anything should be that surprising.
This wasn’t, based on what we’ve heard about Jacobs for a while now. He wasn’t given the option of coming back to Arkansas State and had to go to a junior college, according to sources familiar with the situation in Jonesboro.
Pittman wasn’t going to go into any details, either.
“Jerry Jacobs has opted out,” Pittman said. “So he’s no longer on the football team.”
It’s not a talent issue. The negatives aren’t legal or substance abuse from what I’ve heard for a couple of months from folks in Fayetteville. None of those were the problem at Arkansas State, either.
There are a lot of other issues that have gotten players kicked off teams for a century. The signs point to this with Jacobs opting out.
If it was health-related, there would have been a mention of that. Nope. With a tweet from Jacobs being deleted just hours after it was posted seems rather strange.
And it points to Jacobs and the Razorbacks mutually agreeing to part ways.
The emergence of Hudson Clark at cornerback probably played a role. Jacobs was injured against Auburn and played sparingly against Ole Miss when Clark showed what he could do with three interceptions against one of the most highly-regarded offenses in the SEC.
If Jacobs was a problem in the locker room or in need of an attitude adjustment, Clark’s emergence may have made it easier for Pittman to encourage him to prepare for the NFL Draft.
Which, in the end, could make this no big deal at all.