Alabama Crimson Tide running back Josh Jacobs has been lauded as the top professional prospect at his position in the 2019 NFL Draft class. Whether he will be taken as the first player at his position on Thursday, April 25 remains to be seen, but there are five other things that are certain about Jacobs.
1. Jacobs Was Homeless During Middle School
Jacobs recounted spending many nights sleeping in his father’s car or in hotel rooms when he was in middle school in an interview with Sports Illustrated. Jacobs’ unstable home situation played a part in his being lightly recruited out of high school, not receiving any offers from any Division 1 programs until he was a senior. Through his adversity, he earned playing time at Alabama and now the NFL stands at his door.
2. Jacobs Didn’t Carry the Load at Alabama
Jacobs finished his junior season with the Crimson Tide with just 252 career touches of the football. While that relative lack of carries and catches could be seen as a sign of inexperience, it could also work in Jacobs’ favor as teams could see him as having fresher legs than some of the other prospects at his position. If Jacobs’ versatile skill set doesn’t make him the top running back selected in the 2019 NFL Draft, his relative lack of miles on the engine might do the trick instead.
3. Jacobs Might Become the New “Beast Mode”
Since former Oakland Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch announced his retirement earlier this week, the door has been opened for Oakland to potentially take a running back with one of their three first-round picks this year. Jacobs spoke to Yahoo! Sports about the possibility of being selected by the Raiders at No. 24 or No. 27 overall and had a lot of positive things to say, like being excited about the chance to play with Oakland quarterback Derek Carr and wide receiver Antonio Brown if that is where he ends up being selected. Jacobs also said he admired Lynch’s style of play.
4. Jacobs is Already a Father
On the same day that Jacobs arrived at Alabama, his now 3-year-old son Braxton was born. Jacobs has commented that he runs not only because he loves the game but for his son, to make sure that Braxton has a better upbringing than he did. Jacobs credits his father, Marty, as being his other source of inspiration. Jacobs recounted his father often sacrificing eating and sleeping so Jacobs and his siblings could do those things as he was growing up.
5. Jacobs Claims He’s One of a Few Players to Never Get Chewed Out by Nick Saban
According to Jacobs, he navigated his three years playing for Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban without ever being the recipient of Saban’s wrath during practice. Jacobs stated that he would instead have lighter conversations which sometimes included jokes with Saban. Despite the jovial report with Saban, Jacobs actually insists he prefers coaches who use a more firm approach with him.
It remains to be seen if Jacobs will be the first running back taken in the 2019 NFL Draft but regardless, Jacobs has a story of overcoming adversity that already makes him a winner.