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Back to the Grind: Grand Meadow’s Jacobson gets a big lift from his brother

GRAND MEADOW —When Grand Meadow grads Landon Jacobson and Collin Jacobson were growing up together as brothers, it wasn’t always a joy ride. Driven to be competitive on the football field, Collin and Landon often clashed and they weren’t exactly friends. But after playing varsity football together for one year — when Landon was a freshman and Collin was a senior — the duo began to grow closer. When Landon was diagnosed with meningitis in high school, Collin began to become supportive of his younger brother and the two became the best of friends.

“We never got along that much until he had meningitis and then you look at life a little bit differently,” Collin said. “After that, I’ve always looked out for him.”

Collin was there for Landon again after his latest setback.

Grand Meadow grad Collin Jacobson lifts at Grand Meadow High School recently. Collin has helped his younger brother Landon rehab from a knee injury over the past year. Rocky Hulne/sports@austindailyherald.com

One year ago, Landon was going through spring practices with the Winona State football team with his heart set on cracking the lineup. He had red-shirted his freshman season and he hadn’t played an organized football game since he led the Superlarks to their second of four straight nine man Prep Bowl titles. Just when things were starting to look good, Landon tore his ACL last spring and its now been two years since he’s played organized football.

Collin was quick to step up and help Landon along with his injury rehab, which basically began the day after Landon was injured. Landon said rehab has been much easier with his big brother by his side.

“It’s great having support from anybody, but to have an older brother and a best friend who played football and knows as much as I do is great. It’s nice having someone to talk about it outside of the team who can give me a different type of perspective,” Landon said. “It’s kind of just been me and [Collin] through everything. He’s my motivation because he always lifts [weights] and if I’m not there, he has to go on his own.”

Grand Meadow grad Landon Jacobson gets a workout in at Grand Meadow High School recently. Rocky Hulne/sports@austindailyherald.com

Landon’s ACL tear was the first major injury he’s had to deal with and it lit a fire under him. He spent much of the offseason running, lifting and practicing yoga to get back in football shape. Many of his workouts took place in Grand Meadow High School next to Collin, and Landon is now back in Winona preparing for the upcoming season.

Winona State head football coach Tom Sawyer said that he fully expects Landon to be ready for the upcoming season and he could see time at running back, a hybrid fullback and on special teams.

Landon set the mark for the work needed to recover from an injury. He followed protocol to the letter, then did all he could to build his body around his restrictions,” Sawyer said. “Landon is a great example of balancing academic achievement and athletic achievement. His work effort in all he does to be a great college athlete is paying off. I wish I had 100 more just like him.”

Landon and Collin both played big roles in the rise of the GM football program, but unfortunately for Collin, who was a senior when GM took second at state in 2012, he never was able to win a state championship.

“I was one year short of a ring and these guys all have two to four rings. It’s crazy to think that we put in all of that work and people followed it,” Collin said. “Even though I don’t get to play [college football], it’s fun to watch Landon. I think he’s definitely progressed a lot since last fall and since high school.”

Landon said he’s more motivated now than he ever was before to back on the field for Winona State. He wants to make every down count when football season rolls around.

“The last two years have put it in perspective that I’ve kind of got to get going if I ever want to play,” Landon said. “I was doing decent before I got hurt and this spring was better than I thought it would be. It’s exciting knowing that I’ll have a chance to play.”

As Landon has tried to make his way as a college football player at the Division II level, the Superlarks racked up another two state titles behind the running of Christophor Bain, who will possibly play against Landon for Southwest Minnesota State University this coming fall.

Landon kept track of Bain’s career after he graduated from GM and he’s enjoyed watching the team continue to rack up success over the past two seasons.

“It’s really nice seeing the tradition carried on. Once you play at Grand Meadow, you’re always a part of it, even after you’re done playing,” Landon said. “Bain is the best athlete I’ve seen around here in a long time and going against him will be really cool.”

Winona State will open its football season when it hosts Bemidji State University 6 p.m. Aug. 31.

Grand Meadow grad Landon Jacobson, left, has received help in recovering from his knee injury from his older brother Collin, right, over the past year. Rocky Hulne/sports@austindailyherald.com