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November 23, 2012When senior left guard Chris Jacobson takes the field this weekend, it'll be his last college game in front of his hometown crowd at Heinz Field. Even for a guy like Jacobson, a tough-as-nails player who's been a stalwart for Pitt's offensive line since 2010, he can get emotional.
"I do cry," Jacobson joked when asked if he'll need tissues for Saturday, "in like, the movies, too. Like, when there's a chick flick, I'll cry."
While there may be a few tears shed before Pitt plays Rutgers at noon Saturday, there's no player that embodies what the Panther program is about more than Jacobson. And he'll cherish running through the tunnel and out on the field one last time.
"There's a lot of memories I have here, good and bad ones," he said. "Mainly just going out here with these seniors, (it's) definitely an emotional day. It's definitely going to be an exciting day.
"I'm excited to get my last home game in, this is my third one you know. But running out there to meet your parents, who were there to support you during your whole career, which is also emotional. It's going to be a memorable day, and hopefully, we can come up with a 'W.'"
Jacobson has been through more than the average college football player during his career, both individually and with his team.
First, he suffered a season-ending knee injury, forcing him to redshirt in 2007. Then last year, in what was supposed to be his senior year, another knee injury ended his season after just three games. However, he was awarded a sixth year of eligibility by the NCAA to return for 2012.
He's also been through the coaching fiasco that's unfolded over the past two years at Pitt. Jacobson endured the firing of Dave Wannstedt, the short-lived reign of Michael Haywood, the year-long sham of Todd Graham and the hiring of current head coach Paul Chryst.
It's a lot to go through for a college kid, but he's taken everything in stride.
"I don't regret anything," Jacobson said. "I'm blessed to be here another year, which was great, another great coaching staff that I got to encounter, great coaches, great people in my life.
"I made great connections here in the university. I earned a great degree (administration of justice) here last year, and I'll earn another one (legal studies) here in a little bit. (I) don't regret anything.
"All the blood, sweat and tears, I mean if I could do it all over again, I would."
He had too many memories to mention off hand as he tried to dig into his memory banks Tuesday. He remembered the heartache of the 2009 loss to Cincinnati. He also remembered the jubilation after the big win over Virginia Tech this season. Overall, there's no question the three-year starter has loved his time at Pitt.
Despite the instability with the program over the past few seasons, Jacobson is still proud of his university. He feels Pitt is in good hands moving forward under head coach Paul Chryst. As an upperclassmen, he's tried to tell the younger players just take care of your business, and everything else will take care of itself.
"Obviously, there's been a bunch of changes," Jacobson said. "As you grow older, you mature. I believe it's on the right level. Coach Chryst, in his first year, he's doing a great job. He's making adjustments. He's getting his message across. He wants kids to be successful, and he wants guys to graduate from here. He wants things to be on the right path and done the right way.
"I'm proud to leave here the way it is, and it's just going to get better from here on out."