When you play for the undefeated and defending national champions then it can be hard to keep an edge. You might even have to create an imaginary chip on your shoulder. Thus seems to be the plight of Alabama running back Josh Jacobs.
A native of Tulsa, Oklahoma, Jacobs is playing the role of the kid who was spurned by the Sooners but was able to find success and become a star at Alabama. The problem is, the story isn’t true.
Averaging 5.3 yards per carry, and scoring a team-high 11 rushing touchdowns, Jacobs has absolutely become a star for the Crimson Tide. He’s a punishing blocker, a receiving threat out of the backfield, and a tough runner to bring down. What he isn’t is a prospect that Oklahoma overlooked.
“I’m excited about it because I’ve wanted to play this game for three years,” Jacobs said about playing Oklahoma in the Orange Bowl during Thursday’s media day. “It’s finally here. Regardless of how the game turns out, it will be fun and it should be interesting.”
That’s all well and good. You’d expect any kid with roots in the Sooner state to be excited about playing Oklahoma. However, its what he said next that created a bit of buzz for those who keep up with recruiting.
“I just want to prove to Oklahoma when I leave there, when the game is over, that they missed out on me.”Alabama running back Josh Jacobs
Oklahoma definitely missed out on Jacobs but it wasn’t because they didn’t offer him. That’s not the angle the former Tulsa McLain star is taking though. He goes on record saying that Oklahoma flat out didn’t want him.
“Two weeks before signing day, Oklahoma came and coach (Bob) Stoops and all of them came down and was talking to me,” Jacobs said. “In my mind, it was long overdue. There was no way I was going to go there.”
The Sooners didn’t miss out on Josh Jacobs, Josh Jacobs missed out on being a Sooner. It’s OK though because it seems to have worked out for both parties. Jacobs has reached the pinnacle of team success as a college football player and Oklahoma has a roster that has been stocked with top-notch running back talent.
It’s just that neither party got to this point the way Jacobs seems to be spinning the story. The ironic thing is that he seemed to be burned by Oklahoma’s late offer so he ended up at Alabama who offered him on January 29, 2016. That was just five days before National Signing Day and more than a week after the Sooners offered.
Jacobs was the MVP of the S.E.C. championship game and there’s more than a solid chance that he could earn similar honors in the Orange Bowl. There’s an even better chance that you’ll hear the media spin the story that was the neglected of the home state blue blood program that ended up sending him to Bama, and this is his opportunity for vengeance. Just keep in mind that it isn’t true.