Junior to Watch: Jacob Hester
School: Shreveport (La.) Evangel Christian
Position: Running back
Size and speed: Hester is 6-foot-1 and 240 pounds. He has been timed at 4.5-seconds in the 40-yard dash and has a 29 inch vertical leap, 315-pound bench press and a 505-pound squat.
Honors: Hester was the state offensive player of the year as a junior – marking the first time in recent history that anybody other than a quarterback on Evangel’s team earned the honor.
Statistics: Hester rushed for about 1,600 yards on 220 carries for 29 touchdowns. He also had 30 receptions for 350 yards and two touchdowns.
Favorite Schools: Hester listed Oregon, USC, Oklahoma, LSU, Texas, Notre Dame and Texas Tech as his leaders with no early favorite. He has early offers from LSU, Texas and Texas Tech.
Skinny: When you think Shreveport (La.) Evangel Christian football, the first thing that comes to many people’s minds is quarterback and for good reason. With the Eagles great record for producing star quarterback year after year, it’s hard to fathom that Evangel would have a running back recruit that is considered one of the top players in the entire state of Louisiana.
But Jacob Hester is bucking the trend and has transformed Evangel into a multifaceted offensive attack. Sure Evangel still lines up in its famous shotgun formation with the quarterback almost seven to 10 yards behind center but instead of just passing out of that formation, the Eagles are now turning to Hester to provide some spark from the running back position.
And spark is exactly what he provided – with more than 1,600 yards rushing and another state championship for Evangel.
“He’s just one of those special kids that’s a winner first and a great football player, too,” Evangel coach Dennis Dunn said. “Jacob could be the best back ever to play for Evangel.”
And that alone is definitely a mouthful.
But Hester, who has a 3.0 grade-point average and is already qualified with a 17 on the ACT, just takes it all in stride.
“I’m a hard runner,” he said. “I’m hard to bring down, and I have deceptive speed.”
He’s right. If you were to look at Hester, you’d think that he’s a three-years and a cloud of dust type back. But he’s not. He’s got a great pair of hands and catch the ball out of the backfield, plus he has enough quickness to bounce the ball outside and outrun people.
To put it bluntly, he’s another special prospect from one of the nation’s special high school programs.
With a fresh scholarship offer from Texas on the table, and others from LSU and Texas Tech also under consideration, Hester is going into the recruiting process with an open mind.
“I think the coaches are the No. 1 thing I’ll look at,” Hester said. “I want to play for coaches that I can talk to and feel good about. I also want to go to a place where my parents feel comfortable about.”
Hester said he does plan to camp at two places this summer – but with the hundreds of options available, he’s not made up his mind where at yet.