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The Daily Wildcat

 

Football Guide ’17: Jacob Alsadek keeps line steady

Arizona+offensive+lineman+Jacob+Alsadek+%2878%29+roars+in+celebration+with+the+territorial+cup+in+hand+during+Arizonas+56-35+win+against+ASU+in+Arizona+Stadium+on+Friday%2C+Nov.+25%2C+2016.+
Rebecca Noble
Arizona offensive lineman Jacob Alsadek (78) roars in celebration with the territorial cup in hand during Arizona’s 56-35 win against ASU in Arizona Stadium on Friday, Nov. 25, 2016.

If you didn’t know Jacob Alsadek, you’d quite possibly be intimidated. A 6-foot-7 mountain of a man who has the appearance of someone who would cut down the trees in a Bob Ross painting.

However, Alsadek is as humble and fun-loving as they come.

The product of San Diego, California has been through a lot in his five years on campus, but through it all he has come out as one of the key leaders on a Wildcat football team in search of one.

Last year, after the death of teammate and fellow offensive lineman Zach Hemmila, Alsadek was shaken, understandably so. But if character is measured in how a person responds in the face of adversity, Alsadeks would be held in high regard. His smile through a beard, befitting a lumberjack, shines across the room, partly because of his physical stature and because you don’t expect the gentle giant side of him to be on display. He has taken everything in stride and doesn’t sweat the small stuff. However, don’t let that fool you. When Alsadek is ready, he is one of the fiercest competitors on the field.

“I think that a lot of guys take losing very hard,” Alsadek said. “I am one of those guys that take losing very hard. We pretty much couldn’t catch a break, couldn’t get a win. It was hard.”

Alsadek started 35 games in his three previous seasons for Arizona after redshirting his freshman year. He is as consistent as they come for an offensive unit that will be relied on heavily to make up for a 3-9 season in 2016.

Every major publication has the Arizona Wildcats as cellar dwellers, and perhaps that is a good thing. Following the teams success in 2014 and making a trip to the Fiesta Bowl along with a South Division title, expectations were that the program was trending up. It hasn’t worked out like that for the Wildcats, but Alsadek believes the low expectations may be a good thing.

“I think we really embrace that underdog mentality; everybody puts us last on every single thing,” Alsadek said. “There is always pressure, maybe this year a little bit more because of last year.”

As a senior leader, Alsadek and the rest of his offensive line counterparts will be relied on heavily to keep last year’s top-ranked rushing attack in the spotlight. The running game is the team’s biggest strength coming from last season, where they were at the top of the conference in rushing yards per game .

Alsadek’s easy-going San Diego background will be key in weathering whatever storm should come Arizona’s way this season. Whether it be in the face of adversity or prosperity, Alsadek has handled his situations the same: laid back.

“You can’t stress yourself out so much that you don’t enjoy life,” Alsadek said. “I enjoy being out there with my teammates. I think we’re going to bounce back this season, and am looking forward to getting started.”


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