The Jacobs Blocking Trophies, in existence since 1928, are awarded annually in five collegiate conferences to players voted as the best blocker. Voted on by their leagues defensive coordinators, the Jacobs Blocking Trophies have transitioned from an honor once awarded to such skill positions as wide receivers and quarterbacks (Wing-T Offenses), to its current status as the crowning honor for an offensive lineman.
The trophies are carried on today by the family of the founder, Dr. William P. Jacobs. Jacobs, who was born and reared in Clinton, S. C., graduated from Presbyterian College in 1916 where he helped organize and coach the school’s first football team. He became the quarterback, who, in those days, called signals and did the downfield blocking, but seldom carried the ball.
Later, as he coached a high school team, Jacobs realized that the blocker received no plaudits. It was always the ball carrier who was written up in the paper. Seldom did the blocker get credit for clearing the way. So in 1928, he originated a trophy, a beautiful sterling silver loving cup, to be awarded to the college player in South Carolina who “best exemplified unselfish sportsmanship” clearing the way for the ball carrier. To our knowledge, this was the first such award presented in the United States.
In 1933, Jacobs duplicated the cup and began a “best blocker” presentation annually in the huge Southern Conference. Again in 1935, when the Southeastern conference (SEC) split from the Southern Conference, he had a duplicate made to present to the best blocker in the SEC.
After Dr. Jacobs’ death, the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) formed from the SEC. His sons, William and Hugh, added a fourth cup for the ACC and carried on the presentations. An award for the South Atlantic Conference was added in 1990.
Family members now involved in financing and continuing the awards are Jacobs’ son, William of Clinton,S.C., his grandchildren, William Jacobs of Greenwood, S. C.; Hugh Jacobs of Columbia, S.C.; Edna Jacobs Banes of Richmond, Va.; and Susan Jacobs Chesser of Aiken, SC.