Who can forget Adam Vinatieri’s 48-yard field goal that won Super Bowl 36 for the New England Patriots?
Or Buffalo Bill’s kicker Scott Norwood’s missed 47-yarder in Super Bowl 25 that lost them the game against the New York Giants?
No matter the situation, kicking a potential game-winning field goal is a feat that tests muscle memory and mental strength. Kicking is essential to any football team, and a position that is hard to find consistency even at the college level. Kickers are relied on to win games in crunch time, and for Pierce County High School junior, Robert Jacobs, he believes he is ready for these crucial moments.
The 5’10” 165-pound sophomore from Blackshear, Georgia describes himself as a tireless worker when it comes to kicking because it is a skill that requires a lot of patience, technique and repetition.
Jacobs knows what he wants out of football and out of life. He is a humble and devoted individual who uses his core values to motivate him on the football field or when facing any kind of challenge. He holds himself to high standards because he knows what he is capable of achieving. Jacobs credits a lot of who he is to his family and faith.
Jacobs has a strong support system at home. With his older brother being in the Air Force and his mother, father, and sister being nurses, he definitely knows the value of helping people and being part of something bigger than himself. His faith allows him to be disciplined, which is an essential trait to have as a foundation for his football career.
The Jacobs name also has some history when it comes to kicking. Robert’s uncle (Davis Jacobs) was the field goal kicker for the University of Georgia in the 80’s. Robert hopes to be the next great kicker from South Georgia.
Blue 57 is a college football scouting company with a focus on Georgia and Florida recruits. They build relationships with players and understand who they are as people, outside of football.
Blue 57 knows there is a void between college recruits and college coaches – coaches many times don’t know the personalities of the players they recruit. Therefore, the company combined psychology and football recruiting to bridge the gap between player and coach.
Lucas Thorp, who is a scout and analyst for Blue 57 evaluated Jacobs and believes that “Even though Robert is young, he shows a high level of maturity in his demeanor and playing under pressure”.
“Since he is used to kicking field goals, punts and kickoffs, he is multi-talented and can simplify a team’s kicking game by doing it all. Since he is a rising junior, he is only going to get stronger and be able to drive the ball further on all of his kicks”.
Pierce County High School has allowed him to become a better football player and teammate. His current head coach teaches the value of teamwork and working toward a common goal. His determination to get better is a testament to the kind of player he is. To stay sharp, he is constantly lifting weights and working out with the high school track team.
Johanna Van Arkel, who is in Blue 57 sports psychology department shares her remarks on the student-athlete:
“He is a really hard worker who better understands the mental side of football as a client to Coach J. He is more consistent, calmer and confident as a kicker too. He is a reformed perfectionist. Robert has learned how to visualize positive outcomes & have a short memory for misses. This quality helps him master the technicality of kicking and encourages him to have high expectations for himself”.
“He is very close to his dad and appreciates the time his dad has spent taking him to camps. His dad is also a huge motivator in his life and believes in him even when he didn’t believe in himself. Both parents have seen Robert kick enough footballs in the backyard to make a special teams coach proud.”
When asked which kicker he looks up to, he chose Cole Tracy from Louisiana State University because of his kicking style and similar body build. He also likes the Georgia Bulldogs. But Jacobs favorite team is Notre Dame and he loves being from South Georgia and following the Irish.
Robert says he really benefits from training with Patrick Means of One-on-One kicking. Over the years, Means has coached and trained high school and college football players; he is someone Jacobs really trusts. Because of Jacobs’ want to improve his kicking ability, his skills have allowed him to play on the US National Team as well as in the Georgia Athletic Coaches Association game.
According to Blue 57 scout Kevin Hemming,
“In the off season, Robert is working tirelessly at his game to improve his technique and range. This provides him with a huge advantage over other players who are not willing to put in the work necessary to become elite kickers”.
In football, Robert has to overcome adversity on a few occasions to achieve success on the field. Robert remembers having to bounce back from bad games and in-between halves to help his team win. Robert credits his kicking coach with helping get through adversity and developing better skills as a kicker.
Jacobs says “If it was a technical thing I was doing wrong, he would tell me to slow down and regroup. If it was a mental thing he would just tell me to relax, and kick it nice and easy. It always seems to help when I got into adverse situations.”
Robert has always taken his coach’s advice. He has a coachable personality and drives to be a kicker that can lead his team to victory. He already has goals for football mapped out for the next year.
“I want to average 38 to 45 yards on punts, get 100 % on extra points, 85-95% on field goals, and I want to kick a touchback every time I kickoff.”
His main goal is to continue kicking in college when he graduates from high school in 2021. Kicking is something he has always wanted to do on the next level and he will continue to work for a spot in college. This summer he attended kicking camps at the University of Georgia, Clemson, Auburn and Samford as well as Kohl’s camp.
Robert continues to develop as a kicker and teammate and understands that he must stay with the process, stay in the moment and keep his focus for every kick. He also knows that having a strong support system gives him a leg up.
Alexandria Wright is a contributor for The Subway Alum and sports writer for the Blue 57 Scouting Network. Alexandria follows college football recruiting and the impact of psychology of football on Florida, Georgia and Texas.