Northside-Columbus wide receiver Jacobi Hatter burst onto the scene as a freshman making good plays on the varsity squad back in 2019, so there was obviously some expectations going into his sophomore campaign. His impact this season has been noteworthy though, and it seems like every weekend we have seen Hatter make an impressive high-pointed catch.
In fact, just last week he made another great play. Going against a tough Northgate squad, Hatter ran a nice slant ‘n go that left the defensive back trailing behind, but the pass hung up a little. With the defender now catching up, Hatter was going to have to make a contested catch. He was being face-guarded, but Hatter elevated above and hauled in the long pass while being tackled mid-air.
These are consistent plays we have come to expect from Hatter. He shows elite hands, and over the last year, he has taken a big jump from an athletic standpoint. We asked Hatter how the offseason treated him and where he thinks he improved.
“The offseason was hard considering fields were closed but me and my brother Navelle Dean insisted on continuing to work and improve our skills. We met three days a week and official training on Saturdays just to stay active.”
Hatter continued, “I think I’ve improved mentally. I catch everything that’s thrown my way, I’ve improved on my jump 50/50 balls and being an aggressive receiver.”
That’s definitely the case. Last year Hatter showed the elite hands, but also caught a lot of passes flat-footed. Here in 2020, he is attacking the pass and showing legit explosiveness jumping up for passes.
On the season, Hatter has 216 yards receiving on 15 catches and 3 touchdowns – plus he also has 43 yards rushing. On defense, he has several PBU’s and a few tackles too, but we really consider Hatter a receiver prospect. Hatter reminds us of Josh Sims out of Eastside from the class of 2017 who eventually ended up at James Madison. Hatter models his game though after another player.
“I model my game off of WR George Pickens who also started as a true freshman at Georgia. He made plays as a freshman and as a sophomore; it was of ease and second nature to him. People see the fight and dog in his eyes, and that’s what I use to help elevate my game.”
We definitely think Hatter has the upside to be a legit receiver at the next level. He obviously has an array of skills that make him unique to most in the class of 2023.
“What separates me from others in my position is I’m a young starter. I’ve started last year as a freshman making plays against seniors, I’m only 5’10″ catching 50-50 jump balls against 6’3″ corners. It’s as if I turn 50/50 balls to a 100/0 ball; I catch it every time giving the corner no chance.”
On the recruiting side of things for Hatter he is still a new recruit, but the college interest has already ramped up due to his impressive start to his HS career.
“For my recruitment, I understand I’m only a sophomore, so I’ve changed my position from WR to ATH to widen my recruitment, but I’ve been contacted by schools such as Duke, Jacksonville State, and many mother D2/D3 programs. That’s as far as camp invites, filling out recruitment forms or film evaluations at least.”
Always good to be on colleges’ radars early, and open to multiple positions, but it’s not how you start your high school recruitment, but where you ultimate sign. Athletes like Hatter certainly warrant that attention, but how he progresses over the next year will truly shape his recruitment.
Back to the here and now, where Hatter has a handful of games still left in the season, but still goals he would like to achieve.
“My goal for the remainder of the season is to do whatever it takes to help my team win the next game. Personally, my goal is to finish each game with 150 all-purpose yards a game.”
Expect more coverage on the 2023 recruit over the coming months and years here on Recruit Georgia, I highly doubt this will the last top 10 play he makes in the state of Georgia, so be sure to follow @RecruitGeorgia on Twitter to hear the latest on Hatter and the rest of the athletes across the Peach State.