WASHINGTON — Jacob Urban wants to be the best of his four brothers to go through the Washington football program, and he’s certainly raised the bar.
The senior is the third of four brothers to come through the program, but he didn’t take football seriously until he entered high school.
“I never really wanted to play football until high school,” he said. “And then I started realizing that this is fun and I need to start focusing on this.”
As a captain, Urban will lead the Panthers (10-2) on to Babcook Field one final time at 3 p.m. Saturday as Washington hosts Dunlap (12-0) in a Class 5A state semifinal.
Urban was the only returning starting linebacker entering the 2017 season, and he has been a key part of the Panthers pass coverage.
“Out of the three guys, he’s probably our best coverage guy that we can take out of the box,” said Washington coach Darrell Crouch. “Really we didn’t have that coming back, either.”
Older brother Nick and Jared Urban have taught Jacob life lessons and are the reason why he’s strived to elevate his game. Nick, a 2002 graduate, is serving in the Air Force. Jared, a 2015 graduate, was on the 2013 state semifinal team. The youngest Urban, Tyler, is only a sophomore at Washington.
“It makes me competitive,” said Jacob. “I want to do better than all of them will do or have done.”
However, Jacob is different. His work ethic allows him to lead by example, and it has paid dividends for the Panthers.
"With body comparison, too, he’s bigger and stronger than Jared was, and that says a lot of his work ethic in the weight room,” Crouch said of Jared and Jacob, both of whom he has coached. “(Jacob) throws shot competitively and isn’t a big guy. He’s just much more powerful when you compare him to Jared.”
Crouch also said that Urban, like captains Cameron Boers and Aaron Boley, leads by example and is the first to step up and do what is asked. Urban took part in the 10th Backyard Talent Show to raise money for St. Jude, and also helped with a separate fundraiser prior to the event.
Urban wants to use football to play in college, possibly throwing shot put and discus, too. He is also considering serving in the military, like his older brother Nick. Ultimately, Jacob wants to make his parents proud.
“Seeing him in uniform and seeing how happy my parents are for him that he can serve the country,” said Jacob. “I just like seeing a smile on my parent’s face.”
Aaron Ferguson can be reached at 686-3207 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @Sports_Aaron.