Josh Jacobs is a self-made man. He didn’t have much growing up, often sleeping in cars and motels with siblings and a father trying hard to make ends meet.
He added hard work to freak athleticism and made the most of his gifts as an elite running back, moving up from virtual anonymity in Tusla, Okla., to the University of Alabama. Now he’s a first-round draft pick the Raiders took at No. 24 overall, and he soon will sign a multi-million dollar contract.
Hollywood loves a story like that. Fits in well with the American dream, so much so that producers already are trying to acquire the rights to Jacobs’ rags-to-riches tale.
“I don’t know how it came about, honestly,” Jacobs said. “I was just being hit up by big-name producers, like three or four of them about doing a movie. I don’t know if I’m going to do it or not.”
Jacobs is weighing whether or not to get into the movie business, but he knows one thing for sure.
Not right now.
“I feel like there’s perfect timing to everything,” Jacobs said, “and I just don’t feel like right now is the right time.”
Jacobs is solely focused on becoming the Raiders' feature back. That’s expected in his first professional season, with Jon Gruden being over the moon about inserting this dynamic, versatile talent into his offense.
That will mean a higher carry count than his college days, where he split time with other top talents. Doug Martin’s a reserve option in Oakland, and Jalen Richard will get touches in specific situations.
Jacobs is Plan A. He knows it and is ready for that level of responsibility.
“It’s definitely huge,” Jacobs said. “That’s definitely something that I push myself towards every day. I try to work hard every day so that I can be able to withstand that. But, it’s also something that I have been looking forward to for myself to see if I can handle that, take on that challenge. So, it’s definitely going to be fun. We’ll see how it goes.”
Despite being the new guy expected to take the lion’s share of the work, Jacobs says his position group has been welcoming and helpful since he showed up.
“It’s crazy because I didn’t come in thinking it would be like that,” Jacobs said. “But they’re all loving and we all have the same common goals.
“It’s definitely competitive, but it’s just like, at the same time, we’re just all working towards a common goal – that’s to win games and be the best that we can be as a running back unit. We always try to set the tone, set the pace even if it’s at practice. We just hold each other to that kind of a standard every day.”
Jacobs doesn’t believe the NFL draft was his Hollywood ending. There’s more story to tell, and Jacobs wants full focus on that at this time.
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There’s also an element of creative license brought even to real-life biographies, something Michael Oher didn’t often appreciate seeing his life on screen in “The Blind Side.” Relinquishing rights also means filmmakers dig deep, telling not-always-flattering portions of a story. There’s a lot to weigh when making such a decision. Jacobs isn’t taking it lightly, which creates a proper amount of hesitation.
“Because it’s taking the story into a deeper level,” Jacobs said. “It’s saying some things that I left out in the story that would probably be shown in the movie and I don’t know if I want to do it. I still have to talk to my family about it and see how they feel about it and things like that. But I haven’t really thought about it too much.”