Our latest Diamond in the Rough featured athlete is Jacob Brown, a class of 2024 Linebacker/Defensive Tackle. Jacob attends Grassfield High School, in Chesapeake, VA, and he has some pretty impressive numbers on and off the football field. He stands 5’10, weighs 215 pounds, and runs a 4.7 40 yard dash. It is very evident that he puts in the necessary work for him to achieve his full potential. He is very focused in the classroom with a 3.5 GPA as well. During his junior season, which was a span of 10 games, he had 79 tackles, 5 sacks, 12 tackles for loss, 3 forced fumbles, and 2 Fumble recoveries. He also puts in some pretty impressive numbers in the weight room, with a 315 pound benchpress, a 475 pound squat, and a 485 pound deadlift. He plays on both offense and defense. He plays linebacker and plays on the defensive live, while also playing H-back and tight-end on the offensive side.
I had the opportunity to speak with Jacob about this upcoming season, and he had some great things to say about his senior year:
When did you start playing football and why?
“I started playing football when I was about 7 years old. At that time I loved watching the game and I would love going to my brother’s football games. I thought he was so cool for playing football and I tried to be like him at that age. Playing football was the single best decision I have ever made because now football has been an everyday event in my life and I don’t see that ending anytime soon.”
What have you learned about yourself while playing football?
“The biggest thing I’ve learned about myself in football is that I’m in love with competition. I’ve learned your mentality and work ethic is what makes you Elite. Another thing I have learned is, no matter how hard you work and how much you push yourself, there will always be someone better than you.”
What would you say is the strongest part about your game?
“The strongest part about my game is how I prepare for upcoming games. I don’t just watch film to see what plays they run, I study each player’s movements. Going into the game I know exactly when it’s going to be a run or a pass play just based on the lineman’s stance. I also am very good at reading the field. I think I am good at noticing where the ball will be going by the way the offense lines up. The strongest part about my game is my mentality. I do my best every game, every practice, every day. I am never satisfied with a game because I know there are still a million things I can improve on. Lastly, I absolutely love contact! I never shy from it as I am looking for someone to lay out every single play.”
Why would you think college coaches would want you on their team/ part of their program? (What is something that you would want college coaches to know about you?)
“Personally I think colleges would want me on their team because of my leadership. Not just on the field, but in the weight room and class room. I try my hardest every play and I pick up others when something goes wrong. I like to be the hype man as well. I love making that one play that gets the crowd roaring after a huge hit. Most importantly, I am never satisfied unless I see our team name with the championship trophy next to it. I always feel the need to push myself and others more and more to get us to that trophy.”
What is a part of your game that you can improve on?
“The part of my game that I need to improve on is playing the ball while it’s in the air. I tend to be at the wrong spot when I’m going for the ball and I miss an interception because it goes over my head. Another thing I need to work on is knowing when to stop going. I’ve had a habit in the past to push through pain at all costs and unfortunately sometimes it hurts the team more than it helps it.”
Do you have any goals for this upcoming season, and what would those be?
“I have so many goals for this upcoming season. Mainly I want to help my team go all the way this season. Personally, I want to be named 1st team all-state this year because I know I can achieve that. I want to gain more interest in other colleges around the nation because I want nothing more than to find the right home for me for the next 4 years after high school.”
What have you been doing in the offseason to stay ready/in-shape for this coming season?
“This off-season I have been working almost everyday to get better. 5 days a week I do weightlifting to get stronger for the upcoming season, but 5-6 days a week I also do football work on the field such as: speed training, footwork drill, tackling, coverage, identifying strengths and plays, and a whole lot of running. So that being said I do two types of workouts a day 5-6 times a week.”
Who is someone that is a role model in your life?
“I have several role models. I don’t know if I could choose one over the other except my family. My family has been through the ups and downs with me my whole life. My mom and dad have pushed me over and over again to be a successful person, not just a football player. My current coaches have also had that role model figure in my life. They’ve taught me so many things and I’ve become a much better play and person because of them.”
Is there any college or NFL player that you model your game after or watch a lot of their tape?
“Honestly, I try to model my game like Ray Lewis. I’ve watched his highlight maybe 10,000 different times in my life and they will always have the same effect on me. I love the way that he attacked everyone who had the ball in their hands. I loved the way he could change the shift of momentum in just a blink of an eye. Nothing is more satisfying than seeing a huge dude wearing #52 run up the middle and absolutely destroy a grown man like Ray Lewis did. His electrifying hits are the reason why I became so in love with the defensive positions. I even wore #52 my sophomore year because I wanted to play just like him. So if I could play like any player, it would absolutely be Ray Lewis.”
Just by the sound of Jacob Brown’s attitude and way he works, it seems like any college would be lucky to have a player like him on their team. It was a pleasure getting the chance to learn more about this gritty player, and I cannot wait to see what his future holds.