Jacob Free became the starting quarterback for the Troy University football team during the 2020 season his second season as a member of the Trojans.
Free joined the Troy football program after being at Vanderbilt in 2017 and at Northwest Mississippi Community College in 2018.
Here is some basic information to know about Jacob Free:
Here are five more things to know about Troy University football quarterback Jacob Free.
Troy quarterback Jacob Free (12) greets fans after an NCAA college football game against Middle Tennessee Saturday, Sept. 19, 2020, in Murfreesboro, Tenn. Troy won 47-14. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)(Photo: Mark Humphrey, AP)
Jacob Free did not play any games during the 2019 Troy football season.
He played five of the first seven games of the 2020 Troy football season, and he made his first start against Arkansas State on Saturday, Oct. 31.
Free went 33-for-45 passing for 419 yards and two touchdowns against Arkansas State, a game Troy won 38-10. Free also had a 6-yard rushing touchdown.
He became the starting quarterback after an upper-body injury to Troy's previous starting quarterback,Gunnar Watson.
Troy football: 3 things we learned about Troy football, Jacob Free in 38-10 win vs Arkansas State
Brantley's Alex Wilcox after signing with Mississippi State softball on Thursday.(Photo: Stacy Long)
Jacob Free's best friend, Alexis Ann Wilcox, died on June 25, 2018, at 18 years old due to ovarian cancer.
"It's always on my mind," Free said in 2019 of Wilcox. "If you ask anybody, we were inseparable really."
Free served as a pallbearer at Wilcox's funeral. In 2019, Free said he planned to get her initials and her No. 8 tattooed on his left wrist. Prior to the tattoo, Freesaid he wrote her initials and her No. 8 on white athletic tape on his left wrist in every game since her death.
Wilcox played softball, volleyball and basketball at Brantley High School. She thenplayed softball for Mississippi State during the 2018 season, and she wore No. 8 at Mississippi State.
"Theres no doubt I wish she was here, but I know shes in a better place," Free said.
Jacob Free: From Arkansas State coachs wife to Troy backup QB Frees best friend, cancer affects many
Jacob Free was a member of the Vanderbilt football team in 2017.
He committed early to the program on June 17, 2016. He tweeted that day, "After a lot of talking and praying with my family and coaches, I have made my decision. I have decided to further my education and football career at Vanderbilt University!"
Free chose Vanderbilt over scholarship offers from Louisville, Memphis, Marshall, Temple and Western Kentucky.He received a three-star rating from the recruiting services in high school.
He redshirted the 2017 seasonand transferred to Northwest Mississippi Community College after his year at Vanderbilt.
Georgia Southern defensive end Raymond Johnson III (0) rushes quarterback Jacob Free (12) on Saturday at Paulson Stadium in Statesboro.(Photo: AJ HENDERSON/GEORGIA SOUTHERN ATHLETICS)
Jacob Free earned second-team all-conference from the Mississippi Association of Community and Junior Colleges during his 2018 season playing at Northwest Mississippi Community Collegein Senatobia, Mississippi.
The NWCC Rangers went 8-2 overall and 5-1 in the MACJC. Free went 161-for-301 passing with 2,036 passing yards and 14 touchdowns to just four interceptions, according to NWCC. He also had one rushing touchdown during the season.
When Free decided to leave NWCC for Troy, he said on Twitter, "Growing up I was always taught that God has a plan for your life. Its been a long time coming but I am blessed to say that I have committed to play football and further my education at Troy University!"
St. John's pitcher Tori Free throws in the first inning during an NCAA college softball tournament regional game against New Mexico State, Saturday, May 16, 2015, in Tucson, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)(Photo: Rick Scuteri, AP)
Jacob Free's aunt Tori Sanchez, who played college softball as Tori Free, pitched for St. John's from 2013-17. She earned the 2015 Big East Pitcher of the Year.
She has since married former St. John's baseball catcher Tyler Sanchez, who played for the Red Storm in 2014 and 2015.
The Texas Rangers drafted Sanchez in the 17th round of the 2015 MLB Draft with the 498th overall pick. Sanchez played minor league baseball from 2015-17.
Jacob Free said baseball was his passion growing up and that he didn't play football until his freshman year of high school.
"All my friends played football at the time," Jacob Free said in 2016. "I was just a baseball guy. My friends and (Brantley football) coach (Ashley) Kilcrease said I should come out for football and I got to love it. I definitely made the right choice."
Troy backup quarterback Jacob Free, whose best friend, Alex Wilcox, died last year of cancer, says support for cancer victims extends beyond football. Montgomery Advertiser
Here is a link to Jacob Free's bio on the Troy University football website.
Erik Hall is the lead digital producer for sports with the USA Today Network. You can find him on Twitter @HallErik.
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