Each year, the Madison County Recreation Association 20th of May Jubilee Celebration committee nominates an individual who has displayed exemplary character and high moral standards within the community and abroad.
This year’s nominee, Jacobbi McDaniel, proves that our youth can and are striving to achieve greatness. Born Oct. 8, 1989, to Darlann Choice and Terry McDaniel, he has four brothers and one sister, and is a former Madison County High School (Class of 2009) student and athlete.
In 2007, he had 30 tackles, leading his team to the 2A state title in 2007. He also performed well on the basketball court and baseball field. After graduating high school, he was blessed to continue his dreams to play Division 1 football for the Florida State University Seminoles, a team he always dreamed of playing for. Throughout his years at FSU he faced a lot of adversity on and off the football field, but was dedicated enough to remain focused and achieve his goals. McDaniel was very excited to learn that he was nominated for Grand Marshall for this year’s Jubilee Celebration.
“First, I want to thank my Lord and savior Jesus Christ; without him none of this would be possible,” he said. “Secondly, the people who nominated me for this humbling award, recognizing my hard work on and off the field at Florida State University. Going into my first year at FSU, I was blessed to be able to play as a freshman. During my freshman year I earned All-America and All-ACC while maintaining an amazing GPA of a 3.5. My sophomore year may have been one/if not the toughest time of my life. I was hit with everything a college student athlete could possibly face on the field.”
Describing his sophomore year as “truly a season of FAITH,” McDaniel suffered an injury during the Wake Forest game. It was only the fifth game of the season.
However, he worked very hard the following summer to get back into shape for his junior year season, only to suffer an ankle and leg injury playing against Duke University. He had hoped to have a big junior year and go on to the NFL draft.
“But God had other plans for me,” said McDaniel. “The training staff, led by Madison native Jake Pfeil, took very good care of me and helped me gain my confidence back during my rehab. I was not ready to play my senior year so I had to sit out and receive a hardship because of my injury. I was granted a fifth year by Jimbo Fisher to prove myself again on the football field, so I took full advantage of my opportunity. There was a lot of talent my senior season and it was going to take a lot of hard work for me to even see the field, but I was up for the challenge. My senior year peaked when we became national champs and I graduated with a degree in Criminology. I am currently training for the NFL draft. I feel that all my faith and perseverance during my time in college got me through tough times. God proves all things are possible.”
Jacobbi McDaniel has been viewed as one of the top high school players in the entire nation by ESPN and Sporting News. In baseball, he batted .589 with 13 homers as a senior and was selected by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 33rd round of the 2009 Major League Baseball Draft.
He will be presented as Grand Marshall at the 2014 Miss 20th of May Pageant on May 15 at 7 p.m. We look forward to presenting him with this honor. He will also be present at all the planned events scheduled for the May 20th Jubilee Celebration. On behalf of the Madison County Recreation Association Board and Event Committee, “Kudos” to Jacobbi McDaniel from Event Chair, Tami Brown.