Rayshon Jacobs has right stuff for CCSU football
Rayshon Jacobs out of Jonathan Law has signed a letter of intent to play football at Central Connecticut State University.
“I wanted to stay in the area, and I love the great athletic and academic program that CCSU offers,” Jacobs said. “I’m going to study paleontology. Since I was little, I’ve been interested in the how and why of life on earth.
“I know football is different at the next level. I know it may take time, but I’m looking forward to gaining weight, putting on more muscle and adding speed.”
Jacobs, a 6-foot-1, 165-pounder, runs a 10.8 in the 100-yard dash. He amassed a total of 1,057 all-purpose yards good for 12 touchdowns for the Lawmen.
"Rayshon is an explosive athlete,” CCSU head coach Ryan McCarthy said. “He is one of the elite track athletes in the state, he has the speed to be a threat to score on every play."
Jacobs’ numbers raised eyebrows, but McCarthy and his coaching staff require something special from their student-athletes.
“We had a real good year,” associate head coach and wide receiver coach Adam Jenkins said about the Blue Devils winning a school-record 11 games a year ago. “But, go back two more seasons and we’ve only lost two conference games and they came in the last minute.
“Our coaching core trust what we are doing. We are true to our model. We know the guys that are our type of player. Some look to take the best guy. We find it is best to take a specific guy and fit him into our system. We will continue to go down that road.”
CCSU finished the regular season 11-1, with their only loss coming on the road to Eastern Michigan. They were ranked as high as a school-best No. 17 in the national polls. CCSU also had six road wins, tied for the most in the nation, while posting an unblemished Northeast Conference record for the second time in three seasons.
Jenkins, a Harvard graduate and tight end for the Crimson (2006), is in his sixth season at Central.
“I sat together with Rayshon on multiple occasions,” he said. “Ray is quiet and reserved at first. But then we turned the tape on to watch. When those lights came, you could see that swag, that good competitive fire coming out.
“We were sitting as a staff the other day watching tape on Rayson and immediately began comparing it with Courtney Rush (a 2019 graduate). Courtney came out of Windsor, where he was a track athlete, and became one of the premier deep threats in the conference.”
Rush, a six-time state champion, finished his career with 84 receptions good for 1,523 yards (18.1 per catch) and 11 touchdowns.
“We knew going in (to recruiting Jacobs) that we were dealing with a high-level track athlete who would draw interest,” Jenkins said. “But Rayshon isn’t a track athlete playing football. He is further along. He has a lot of receiving ability.
“When you watch (game) tape on Rayshon, two things jump out. First is the way he exits so smoothly out of his routes, Second, is how he does it while remaining fast. I’m not talking speed after getting open deep, but the great burst he has out of the catch. He tracks the football well.”
Jacobs feels leaving track to concentrate on football won’t be easy but necessary.
“I may have been able to go somewhere else and do both,” said Jacobs. “When all is said and done, I chose football. I know you will get out of football what you put into it. I’m looking forward to the challenge.
“I still have the outdoor season with my track brothers. It is going to fun exciting. We want to break records, hopefully get a ring and give the school a banner.”
Isaiah DeLoatch from Shelton (OL, 6-5, 305), Gabe Hernandez from Conard (OL, 6-4, 280), Ethan Haberman from Daniel Hand (DL, 6-5, 225), David Augustus from Capital Prep (DL, 6-2, 250), Aidan Clark from Tolland (K/P, 6-3, 190) and Trevor Santiago from Maloney (OL, 6-5, 295).
Law football coach Chris Haley said: “Rayshon was our Team MVP and I said this about him at the banquet:
“He provided electrifying excitement to the field and a humble, quiet demeanor off it. An intriguing young man, he is certainly not your typical high school standout recruit. As we’ve met with college recruiters along the way, his first question, is not, ‘Where will I play? Or what offense do you run?’ it is ‘Is your team like a family? Does everyone take care of each other?’
“I also commend CCSU for doing a great job helping in-state recruits. I'd also be remiss to not acknowledge coach Jeff Bevino for help setting up the initial contact with the Blue Devils staff. Rayshon’s guidance counselor, Molly Moe, was indispensable in the process.
“I wish Rayshon the very best; he's a very deserving athlete, who will represent our values well. I'm incredibly happy for him and his uncle to have found a place he can be happy pursuing an education, while being rewarded for his athletic efforts.”
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