UW Football: Outside linebackers' ‘new faces’ bring experience, agility


UWBadgers.com Senior Writer


In the final scrimmage prior to the 2013 season opener, Jacobs opened eyes with his play at outside linebacker when he caught tailback Melvin Gordon from behind after a long run. Jacobs, a true freshman, was somewhat of a mystery after playing just two years of high school football, mostly as a running back. His passion was basketball growing up in Torrance and Santa Clarita, California. But a training camp injury to Ethan Armstrong opened the door for Jacobs, who got into the mix and appeared in all 13 games as a backup rusher off the edge. That's how it all started.

Well, he's baaaack — Jacobs is back at outside linebacker after a long stint at inside linebacker and a short trial at fullback. "It's how I remember it, so I feel pretty comfortable," said Jacobs, who started the spring inside before making the transition outside. "It was kind of mutual, I wanted to go there (outside) and Coach Tibs (Tim Tibesar) wanted me to go there. Ideally, we wanted to do it at the beginning of the spring, but since all the inside linebackers were hurt, we were going to wait and do it in fall camp. But once Jack (Cichy) was able to do Skelly (pass), we decided, 'Why not just come over now?'"


Junior college transfer Andrew Van Ginkel was a first-team all-state defensive back at Rock Valley (Iowa) High School. As a senior, he also played quarterback throwing for 1,466 yards and 17 touchdowns and rushing for 1,413 and 15 TDs. In basketball, he averaged 25.4 points, 7.7 rebounds and 4 assists. After two years at South Dakota (one as a redshirt; one as the Missouri Valley Conference leader in tackles for loss) and one year at Iowa Western, Van Ginkel picked Wisconsin over Nebraska and Iowa.

Read the full rundown at UWBadgers.com

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