[Portrait] Josh Jacobs and the social elevator | Touchdown Actu (NFL Actu)

Joshua Jacobs

Born February 11, 1998 in Tulsa, Oklahoma
1m78 for 100 kilos
Runner, Las Vegas Raiders, 2nd season

Under the radars

In the world of university football, the most promising high school students are recruited from their 3rd year of high school. Some, like Trevor Lawrence or Chase Young are courted one or two years before and, by courted we mean that they receive hundreds of letters of recruitment from universities which also send, on the spot, members of the staff or even the head coach for the very best.

While he signs 2700 yards and 31 touchdowns his last year of high school, Josh Jacobs still has no scholarship offer! A month later is due to hold “National Signing Day” and it still arouses almost no interest: a second division university in Missouri Southern State. Then two more first division, certainly, but relatively modest in New Mexico State and Wyoming. The University of Alabama having a nationwide network saw this player on video, he looks really good but something must be wrong: how come no one is recruiting him? The runners’ coach, Burton Burns, then goes there and expects to discover a problem: physical problem, behavior problem, there is bound to be a problem.

“We thought we would find something negative: maybe it would be smaller than expected? Something anyway. But Burns then tells us no, that he saw him during basketball practice and that he’s explosive and athletic. But we kept looking because something must have gone wrong, we searched and searched again and in the end, we did not find anything negative. Nick Saban tells al.com

The explanation was much simpler than the hypothesis of a hidden concern: McLain High School is not among the most famous in the state or even in the city of Tulsa. Above all, the high school is located in a poor and dangerous area. Add to that an incredibly rich pool across the country and Josh Jacobs has gone totally under recruiter radar. In the end, it is social networks that will allow this player to make himself known. A twitter account, videos of his matches and training on it and the buzz went viral: Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, TCU and therefore Alabama were then interested in Josh Jacobs. So much to choose the best, so he joined the Crimson Tide in Alabama. Unexpected for a young man that nothing seemed to predestinate to the lights of the top university level.

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Under the bridges

Joshua Jacobs grew up north of the city of Tulsa with four siblings and a father, fighting every day to secure the most decent conditions for his children. Precariousness when you hold us. Josh Jacobs slept in a motel room and then in another the next day. The best for his father Marty was when the establishment offered a free breakfast with the rental. Sometimes the bed was the backseat of the car, her dad in the front, only sleeping with one eye with a gun in his hand, just in case.

Marty Jacobs had yet started his adult life like most people: a job, a wife, children. Then came divorce, loss of home and job, and in the blink of an eye he was homeless. So began the tour of the local motels.

“I understood the situation even though I was young but I never really suffered from it. I think I put it all in perspective. “Josh Jacobs tells the Washington Post

Putting aside as much as he could of the precarious employment wages he obtains, Marty Jacobs finally manages to put his children in a house. Not a palace, no. Not in a residential area, no.

“I remember all those police helicopters that regularly flew over my neighborhood. I remember 13 year old children commenting on crimes and the same murders. In truth, it would have been so much easier if I too had sold drugs or joined a gang of thieves. », Explains Josh Jacobs to the Washington Post, a few days before the 2019 draft

Under the projectors

The difference in environment between the prestigious University of Alabama, its flower-lined campus and its stately buildings and its Tulsa neighborhood was initially a shock for Josh Jacobs.

“Everything was so beautiful, it was weird. He told the Washington Post

From the start, he impressed his teammates like OJ Howard (Buccs) or Eddie Jackson (Bears) who then told Bleacher Report that this player “will become special. “. From the 4th game of his first season, he started and posted 100 yards and a touchdown against Kentucky. In three seasons, he helped Alabama reach three college finals (one win and two losses). In 2018, his third and final season with Alabama, he signed 11 touchdowns on the ground and three receiving assists from Tua Tagovailoa (Dolphins).

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His explosiveness, his ability to catch passes as well as his character “foolproof linked to his childhood” then convinced Mike Mayock, the Raiders’ sports director, to choose this player in the first round.

“I saw him during the university final and the next day I compiled 7 extracts from his performance. I then went to see Jon Gruden telling him to watch these videos because we had to select this player. », Tells us Mike Mayock during the Rich Eisen Show

And from his rookie season, Josh Jacobs to exceed 1000 yards on the ground. The following season, he further increased his importance in the Raiders’ offensive scheme and scored 10 ground touchdowns. 55 of his lifts allow the team to get a first attempt.

If the runner’s position is sometimes devalued in the eyes of scouts and the general public, one of the caliber of Joshua Jacobs not only allows the chains to move, to register touchdowns but also, to give a team an identity in attack. . And, what about the opposing defenses obliged to be attentive to his races, thus freeing spaces for his tight-end Darren Waller or a receiver rising from the ashes, Nelson Agholor. Good by himself and making the others better, Josh Jacobs has been able to thwart all the forecasts, all the difficulties, to today touch the summits. This is what he wants to teach his 3 year old son.

“I don’t want him to experience this of course but to understand it. He will grow up in a whole different environment from me, but he will understand that he should not feel superior and treat people on their terms. », Wishes Josh Jacobs via the Washington Post

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