Strong Will, Skittles Helping Combs Star Thrive

It would have been easy for Isiah Jacobs to succumb to childhood pressure and fall into the trap many pre-teens face when adversity or change happens.

Growing up in a single-parent household in Michigan with a mostly absent father, Jacobs’ mother decided young Isiah would be best relocating to the Valley to live with his grandparents back in the early 2000’s.

The desert would bring more stability, something Isiah’s mother craved for her son.

Now, the Combs High School senior is a thriving two-sport student-athlete in the southeast Valley with college scholarships waiting (in both wrestling and football) and a bright future in front of him.

In the classroom the likable Jacobs has a solid B-average. On the mat he’s been a steadying force with over 100 career wins. His traditional pre-match routine consists of Skittles, mixed nuts, beef jerky and gum to help “calm me down” as he said.

“For me, I have an adrenaline problem,” he said to in relation to his pre-match sweet tooth. “I’ll start overthinking problems so candy sort of overwhelms that. It makes me just think about getting to the next match.”

His success and skill-set on the football field has carried over to wrestling since picking up the sport during his freshman year at Combs.

“I like the aggressiveness of football, I like hitting people,” Jacobs said. “Staying low and tackling helps get you in position for a takedown.

Combs head varsity football and wrestling coach Travis Miller has seen Jacobs’ evolution, both in athletics, as well as the classroom as one of his instructors.

“He’s highly involved here at the high school,” Miller explained to “He’s a good student. He somebody every teacher really wants. Somebody who does their work and is respectful. Having him in my class was actually fun because, being his coach, we had a different relationship.”

Jacobs has matured into the man he is today thanks to his mother, as well as his grandparents who helped guide his through the transition of adoption upon his arrival in Arizona.

“They’ve been a great influence ever since I was younger,” he said of his grandparents. “They taught me their old-fashioned ways which really helped me respect adults.”

Schools from around the country are showing respect for Jacobs’ athletic accomplishments in both wrestling and football. Locally, he has offers from Arizona Christian and Ottawa University, as well Central Iowa, Simpson College (IA) and Doane (NE). The University of Arizona has shown interest in football, as well.

Sometimes change is good.

No one needs to remind Isiah Jacobs.