Time is of the essence for Jacobs

LOS ANGELES -- With football national signing day right around the corner, on Feb. 1, Seth Jacobs from Arroyo Grande (Calif.) has been about as busy as they come. Then again, the hectic schedule is something that simply comes along with territory when you are considered one of the country's top unsigned prospects.

The 6-foot-1, 205-pound senior has recently made his rounds and visited multiple colleges. Jacobs, of course, was able to gain a better understanding of what each program had to offer, and it appears as if the trips helped him narrow down his list to three schools, and perhaps a fourth.

“Right now, Arkansas, Colorado and Oklahoma State are in the lead and about even,'' Jacobs said. “I feel good about how the recruiting process has gone so far. I'm really glad I took my time and did not commit to anyone early. Rushing into a quick decision was not an option for me.''

While Jacobs maintains his final decision is in the works, one has to wonder if UCLA has a chance to make a late run for his services. The Bruins, after all, have made a strong push and he plans on making a visit to Westwood this weekend to meet with new coach Jim Mora and his staff.

“I like Coach Mora, he has a great resume and some great assistants around him. I've been talking with some of the people at UCLA for a few weeks now,'' Jacobs said. “I look forward to checking out the campus and meeting everyone from there. The Bruins could pop into my top three.''

Last weekend, Jacobs visited Colorado. The fact the Buffaloes are still a player in the grand scheme of things is somewhat puzzling considering the high-profile options he has to choose from. Staying close to home and playing in the Pac-12 Conference is something he considers important.

Oklahoma State hosted Jacobs two weeks ago. At the time, all signs pointed to the Cowboys emerging as his leader. But the talk about that whole scenario has subsided since then.

Shortly before that, Jacobs visited Arkansas, on Nov. 5.

“I have talked to Seth about things recently and it seems like it's all coming down to the schools that he mentioned, Arkansas, Colorado and Oklahoma State,'' Arroyo Grande coach Tom Goosen said. “I know he likes to keep his mind open, but I'm not sure UCLA has a legitimate shot. I can tell you this much, he will make his announcement at our school on signing day, I know that.''

In the meantime, Jacobs has more than enough to think about.

Chances are, the all-important decision will keep him busy.

“I have been on the go, non-stop lately, things have been crazy. It's been fun for me though,'' Jacobs said. "This kind of thing only happens once in a lifetime, so I'm fine with not having much free time.

"With Arkansas, Colorado and Oklahoma State, I don't think I can go wrong.

"I had a great visit with Colorado, I felt comfortable there. Oklahoma State was great too, that school has great atmosphere. Arkansas was crazy, I love the fans there. Like I said, I don't have a leader. I am very fortunate to have three good choices, though. ''

Sean Ceglinsky covers preps for ESPNLosAngeles.com. Follow him on Twitter.