When you break it down, former Crimson Tide player Josh Jacobs’ life certainly reads like a Hollywood script.
• Parents separated, and he lived in his dad’s car for part of his childhood.
• Spent many nights going to bed hungry.
• Overlooked by all the top colleges, despite being a star running back in high school.
• Overcame an injury in college to be an elite player at Alabama.
• First-round NFL draft pick.
It’s those details that had movie producers scrambling to get to Jacobs after April’s NFL Draft in Nashville, Tennessee, where he was the first running back taken with the No. 24 overall pick by the Oakland Raiders.
“I don’t know how it came about, honestly,” Jacobs said in a Wednesday press conference at the Raiders’ football facility. “But I’ve been hit up by big-name producers, about three or four of them, about doing a movie. I don’t know if I’m going to do it or not. I feel like there is perfect timing for everything and right now isn’t the right time.
“I don’t know if I want to do it. I’ll have to talk with my family and see how they feel about it. But I haven’t really thought about it too much.”
The “Josh Jacobs Story” will have to wait. For starters, his story is still being written. Second, movies are not his priority. Not even in the top 10. The Raiders rookie is busy getting acclimated to the NFL through the Raiders’ minicamp this week.
“All my time is really invested in football right now. I’m here all day,” Jacobs said.
The rest of the country will still get to see Jacobs, just not on the big screen. The Raiders will be featured on the HBO series “Hard Knocks” and Jacobs is sure to be a primary figure for the show.
“Honestly I thought we were going to be on it next year, but I knew it was coming sometime soon,” he said. “So we will see how it plays out.”
Jacobs is hard at work on becoming a featured back, something he hasn’t been since high school. He split time with Damien Harris and Najee Harris last season at Alabama and was sidelined for part of 2017 with an injury. Jacobs was fourth on the depth chart his freshman season in 2016.
“That’s huge. That’s something I’m pushing myself toward every day,” Jacobs said of becoming an every-down back. “It’s also something I’m looking forward to see if I can take on the challenge. It will be fun. We’ll see how it goes.”
Jacobs has a few other veteran players to beat out for the starting job, including Doug Martin, Isaiah Crowell (on injured reserve), Jalen Richard, DeAndré Washington and Chris Warren III.
“Those are all guys that played and they are all guys I can lean on how to be a better pro, how to be a better running back. They are teaching me the ropes,” Jacobs said. “When I mess up they get on me, and when I do good they praise me. It’s a blessing just to have a great group of guys like that.
“We all have the same common goals and we just want the best for the team. It’s definitely competitive but we are all working toward the same goal of winning games.”
Being a reliable runner is Jacobs’ ultimate goal, but not the only one for his rookie season. In head coach Jon Gruden’s offense, running backs have to be reliable receivers. Jacobs has been getting some up-close education by watching new Raider acquisition Antonio Brown.
“I tried to learn the pass tree and the concepts to give me a better feel,” Jacobs said. “When I’m watching film I watch every position and see how AB runs his routes and see if he spray releases and things like that. Just doing things to give me that edge — and obviously catching balls after practice.
“It excites me because (lining up as wideout) doesn’t make me one-dimensional. It gives me a chance to showcase my God-given abilities and keep defenses on their heels.”