Throughout the years, there have been some very successful running backs to come out of Alabama. The most recent is Las Vegas Raiders‘ Josh Jacobs, who recently won the PFWA Offensive Rookie of the Year Award. Though he was hampered by an injured shoulder for the second half of the 2019 season, he still put up big numbers when he did play.
Jacobs didn’t make the Pro Bowl, but a couple fellow Crimson Tide alumni did and they had a chance to talk about the impressive rookie. Speaking at the Pro Bowl, Baltimore Ravens running back Mark Ingram and some seriously high praise for Jacobs.
“Josh Jacobs is the man,” Ingram said. “Obviously, he changes the identity of that team. Just being able to be a physical runner, an explosive runner, catch the ball out of the backfield – He’s a great talent and he showed it this year, all year long. I think he has a strong case for the Rookie of the Year and I’m a big fan of him. Everything he’s been through, everything he’s gonna accomplish, continue to accomplish. Man, I’m a big fan. He knows I love him. He’s gonna be a Pro Bowler plenty of years, an All-Pro. I feel like he’s gonna be one of the best backs in this league for a long time.”
Jacobs may have missed out on some big accolades as a rookie, but if he can keep up the pace, he has a very prolific career ahead of him.
Derrick Henry Agrees
Perhaps the most impressive running back to come out of Alabama in recent years is Tennesee Titans’ Derrick Henry. After a slow start to his career, Henry blew up in 2019 and led the NFL in rushing. He almost singlehandedly led the Titans to the Super Bowl thanks to his impressive play. He also had some kind words for Jacobs.
“Josh can do it all,” Henry said. “Boy’s a beast, man. You’ve seen it in college and he got his opportunity… I already knew what time it was, so I wasn’t shocked at all (about Jacobs’ success).”
The Alabama running backs clearly support each other and Jacobs may just end up being the best of the bunch. He just needs to stay healthy.
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Josh Jacobs Led NFL in Broken Tackles as a Rookie
Just looking at Jacobs, you wouldn’t think he was a very physical runner. He doesn’t have the size of Derrick Henry or the bulk of Marshawn Lynch. However, according to Pro Football Focus, no running back broke more tackles in 2019 than Jacobs.
Considering he missed three games with a broken shoulder, those numbers are impressive. Jacobs was a backup when he played at Alabama but was still able to sneak into the first round of the draft based on his potential as an all-around back. Though he didn’t do much as a receiver, he proved to be one of the most effective runners in the NFL in 2019.