UCF football makes Evans safety Brandon Jacob ‘a real priority’

PUBLISHED June 5, 2023 at 5:08 p.m. | UPDATED: June 5, 2023 at 5:23 p.m. During his first two full recruiting cycles at UCF, coach Gus Malzahn landed top talent in the secondary from Orlando and he’s hoping to continue that trend this year. In 2022, the Knights signed Apopka’s Nikai Martinez and Seminole’s Ja’Cari and Demari Henderson. This past December, the program added Lake Mary’s Braeden Marshall. This year, Malzahn aims to lure Evans High defensive back Brandon Jacob to UCF. The 4-star prospect is intrigued by the idea of staying home for college at the school that he took an official visit to this past weekend. This year in Dallas Mike McCarthy will be calling plays for the offense. Emmanuel Acho, Joy Taylor, LeSean McCoy, and Ric Bucher debate if Dak Prescott will improve this season under McCarthy’s play calling. “Playing in front of my whole family every home game, coming out of the tunnel knowing your mom is in the crowd and knowing it’s not going to be a problem with her getting there because it’s only 30 minutes from your house is huge for me,” Jacob said. The 6-foot-2, 170-pound defensive back said the visit, which took place during UCF’s premier recruiting event of the summer, Bounce House Weekend, gave him a chance to get involved with the entire coaching staff. “It made me feel like I’m at home,” he said. “I felt comfortable with the coaching staff and the players and that’s a great feeling for me. “They made me feel like a real priority, so that’s big.” Compared to other visitors from around Florida or out-of-state, Jacob is more than familiar with UCF, and it’s the college program he’s been around his entire life. “Growing up here in Orlando, you’re going to be a UCF fan regardless,” he said. “You’re going to watch the games. I’ve been looking into UCF, just waiting for the offer, waiting for the time to come and waiting for the whole recruiting process.” That time has arrived for the safety who ranks as the No. 160 overall recruit in the country for the 2024 class according to the 247Sports Composite ratings that combine rankings listed by major recruiting services. The Knights offered him last August and have since stayed in regular contact with him. Malzahn’s program, however, is far from the only school vying to land the local product. Jacob’s top 12 schools, a list he released in May, included UCF, Ohio State, Alabama, Miami, Michigan, Texas A&M, Penn State, Kentucky, Colorado, Maryland, Duke and South Carolina. The Aggies are hosting him for an official visit this weekend before he heads to the DMV area the following week to meet with the Terrapins. His goal is to make a decision about his commitment in August before the start of his senior season. Jacob shared how much of an impact UCF’s upcoming move to the Big 12 Conference has on his recruitment. “That’s huge because competition-wise [in] the Big 12, you’re going to play the best of the best,” he said. “You’re going to be up against people who are going to be in the league and then soon, you’re going to be in the league also. Just playing against some real competition.” Last recruiting cycle that upgrade in competition was attractive for recruits such as Marshall and Osceola’s John Walker, two 4-stars from Orlando who signed with the Knights and are friends of Jacob. The Evans product also knows freshmen receiver Tyree Patterson from Eustis and Hudson Gibbs of Winter Park. “I’m cool with a lot of players on the team, so that’s big,” Jacob said. He also mentioned UCF’s new defensive coordinator Addison Williams when discussing where he’d fit in on defense for the Knights. “I’d really be all around,” Jacob said. “Just getting involved and getting my feet wet. Having a defensive coordinator who is a defensive backs coach is huge.” Although Jacob entered his weekend visit to UCF with plenty of knowledge about the Knights, he learned one key thing. “It’s more than football here,” he said. “It’s education, brotherhood, manhood and stuff like that, and it’s getting involved. You’re more than a football player here.”

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