The Pittsburgh Panthers suffered quite a loss Saturday with redshirt senior left guard Chris Jacobson, one of the most respected members of the team and a legitimate NFL prospect, suffering a season-ending injury to his left knee.
Jacobson has been overshadowed throughout much of his career, as the Panthers boast one of the top guard prospects in the entire country in Lucas Nix. The team sent left tackle Jason Pinkston to the NFL last April (Cleveland Browns' fifth round pick).
Despite the relative lack of national name recognition, the Pittsburgh coaching staff was mourning the loss of their co-captain.
Jerry DiPaolo of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review was on hand to record Pittsburgh head coach Todd Graham's comments:
"Chris Jacobson is one of the most respected people in our program,” Graham said, “and I know every player and coach feels disappointment for him that he’ll miss the rest of the year. Fortunately, we feel optimistic about his chances to receive sixth year of eligibility from the NCAA.” It’s a bad break for a good guy, but Jacobson would be the first to tell you, “That’s football.”
Jacobson is expected to undergo surgery on the knee soon, perhaps as early as this week. This is the second catastrophic knee injury. Jacobson missed the entire 2007 season after tearing the ACL in his right knee during fall camp. According to DiPaulo, Graham is hopeful the NCAA will grant Jacobson a rare sixth year of eligibility.
Jacobson currently ranks as NFLDraftScout.com's No. 14 guard for the 2011 draft. Nix ranks fourth.