Josh Jacobs knows all too well about being underrated.
He was overlooked by major collegiate programs at McLain High School in Tulsa, Okla., but that did not stop the University of Alabama from granting him an opportunity. Once a three-star recruit, Jacobs shared responsibilities with Damien Harris, Bo Scarbrough, Najee Harris and Brian Robinson Jr., however, it did not prevent him from giving his best to Nick Saban.
He was not a traditional starting running back, but Jacobs became a fan favorite in 2018.
The 5-foot-10, 220-pounder totaled 1,315 all-purpose yards and 15 touchdowns, en route to being a first-round pick of the 2019 NFL Draft by the Oakland/Las Vegas Raiders. After posting a 1,000-yard season (1,150) as a rookie, Jacobs watched the franchise take Henry Ruggs III — his former Crimson Tide teammate — with the No. 12 overall pick of this year’s venue.
Ruggs not only impressed NFL Draft pundits with his 40-time (4.27 seconds) and vertical jump (42″) at the NFL Scouting Combine, but he also recorded 24 career touchdown receptions at Alabama. A native of Montgomery, Ala., Ruggs made an insane, one-handed touchdown grab on the first day of Raiders’ training camp.
He carried the same work ethic from the Tide to the National Football League, and Jacobs sees it.
According to Vic Tafur, who covers the Raiders for The Athletic, Jacobs said Ruggs is going to have a ‘big year.”
.@iAM_JoshJacobs said his old college teammate @__RUGGS “is dynamic and doesn’t get the credit for being as physical as he is. He’s very focused, has put his head down and gotten to work, just like at Bama.
“He’s definitely going to have a big year.”
— Vic Tafur (@VicTafur) August 12, 2020
Ruggs, like Jacobs, had to share the football at Alabama. Regardless of being on the same roster as Calvin Ridley, Cam Sims, Robert Foster, Jerry Jeudy, Devonta Smith and Jaylen Waddle, the former five-star found ways to be explosive.
He led the team in touchdown receptions (six) as a freshman in 2017 and during his junior season, Ruggs led all receivers in yards per catch (18.6).
The Raiders believe it made the right choice with its first pick of the draft, and Jacobs is excited to watch Ruggs go to work.
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