Blue White Illustrated

June-July 2022

Penn State Sports Magazine

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3 4 J U N E / J U L Y 2 0 2 2 W W W . B L U E W H I T E O N L I N E . C O M D on't talk to Curtis Jacobs about his 40-yard dash time. Sure, the third-year sophomore outside linebacker is one of the best ath- letes on Penn State's entire roster, pos- sessing a rare combination of quickness and bruising physi- cality. When the NFL comes calling and it's his turn to take part in the draft combine, he'll be just fine. But as Jacobs meandered around Penn State's football fa- cility in mid-April, preparing for a spring workout, he discussed speed in a differ- ent context. "It's not like a 40, because I don't really judge that as speed — like, real speed. In my opinion, the 40 is how fast you're going to run on the first play of the game," Jacobs said through a chuckle. Jacobs feels faster as Penn State transi- tions out of its spring practice period and into the summer months. But it's only partially to do with being fleet afoot. What Jacobs is really talking about is his ability to process information quickly on the field. Your legs won't go anywhere until your mind gives them the green light. And Jacobs is spending far less time at those mental stop lights these days. "Offenses, especially offen- sive linemen, they hate speed," Jacobs said. "You could be the biggest, strongest guy, and they've got a 300-pound guy coming to block you. I feel like being able to get that guy before he can even put his hands on you is very valuable. "It's up here," Jacobs continued, pointing to his head. "No false-stepping. "A switch kind of flipped to me, I would say, last year. I started really being confident in my decisions. If I see something, attack it." J A C O B S A talent for quickly sizing up opposing offenses has helped turn linebacker Curtis Jacobs into a defensive playmaker for PSU Speed Speed Reader Reader DAV I D E C K E RT | DAV I D E C K E R T 9 8 @ G M A I L . C O M Jacobs, who ranked sixth on the team last season with 61 tackles, is moving from the Sam to the Will outside linebacker spot this year. PHOTO BY STEVE MANUEL S P R I N G F O O T B A L L 2 0 2 2

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