Joe Jacoby was a cornerstone member of “The Hogs,” the Washington Redskins’ group of nasty but intelligent, skilled but savage offensive linemen that spurred the team to three Super Bowl wins under head coach Joe Gibbs in the 1980s.
So it was perfectly apt that Jacoby, who now lives in Charlotte, was the guest speaker at The Herald’s Thursday night celebration of the 2017 Hawgs of the Week winners. The Herald’s weekly offensive line awards -- two are given out each week of the high school football season -- were named in honor of The Hogs, one of the original first line groups that made playing the usually thankless position a cool thing to do.
“It still amazes me 30 years after the fact that it’s gotten recognition for offensive linemen and that it helps offensive linemen,” Jacoby said.
Two of the 21 weekly winners were named Hawgs of the Year during Thursday’s gathering.
South Pointe center Jackson Chappell claimed the 4A, 5A schools’ Hawg of the Year honor. Chappell made all the blocking calls for the Stallions’ offensive line, which only allowed three sacks all season. Chappell didn’t allow a single one, while recording 23 pancake blocks. South Pointe won its fourth consecutive state title and averaged over 47 points per game. The Stallion offense was unstoppable on the ground, thanks in part to the ball-carriers, but also Chappell’s group in front of them.
The 6-foot-2, 280-pounder is getting recruiting interest from South Carolina, Georgia Tech, Charlotte and Appalachian State and a 3.89 GPA ensures his college football future is firmly in his hands.
And Chester’s Wyatt Tunall won the 1A, 2A, 3A schools’ Hawg of the Year award. Tunall graded 81 percent -- on a strict grading scale, according to offensive line coach Chris Dodson -- with 38 knockdown blocks for one of the state’s best 3A offenses. The 6-foot-5, 260-pound junior tackle has offers from Appalachian State and Troy and should have plenty more coming his way this spring and summer. That’s in part because of his academic success; Tunall has well over a 4.0 GPA and wants to be an engineer.
The 15 or so high school football players found a kindred spirit in Jacoby, who spoke to the group then answered questions.
The 6-foot-8 Louisville native is a finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame this year after a 13-year career paving the way for Washington success. Jacoby, who played in four Pro Bowls, and his cohorts were so dominant that they inspired a devoted set of male fans to wear dresses and hog snouts and become known as “The Hogettes.” None of this year’s Hawgs of the Week have engendered that level of support from the stands -- yet -- but they had a big fan speaking to them Thursday, Jacoby.
His message to the group was “they need to be proud of where they’re at. They’re athletes. They’re working as an individual but they’re working with four other guys on that offensive line. They’re the engine that drives things. That’s how life is for them, that they’re gonna work together in any setting they’re gonna be in.”
2017 Hawgs of the Week winners (alphabetical)
Keavius Barnes, Lancaster; Will Boggs, York; K.D. Canaty, Northwestern; Jackson Chappell, South Pointe; Michael Csuhta, Indian Land; Ronin Costanzo, Fort Mill; Keyshawn Freeman, South Pointe; Montez Hall, Chester; Tyrone Jackson, South Pointe; Dorian Jamison, South Pointe; Dorian Kirkpatrick, Lewisville; Jake Locklear, Indian Land; Garrett Lutz, Clover; Jesse Mace, Indian Land; Greg McMoore, Northwestern; Carson Murray, Rock Hill; Fred Reid, Lancaster; Qay Simpson, Lewisville; Jack Snowberger, Nation Ford; Cody Thomas, York; Wyatt Tunall, Chester.