Alabama Football: The feel-good story of the year – any year

(Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images)
(Photo by Daniel Shirey/Getty Images) /

Many Alabama football players have had their lives improved in the Saban-era. Josh Jacobs’ story is the latest and perhaps the best.

For all that is wrong in professional sports and big-time college athletics, there are many exceptions. Former Alabama football player, Josh Jacobs is one of those exceptions. Jacobs’ story is extraordinary but it is not unique. Lives are often changed for the better by playing sports.

Many of the positive changes get little notice. Coverage of big-dollar professional contracts is common. Far less common are stories of the less tangible by-product of college athletics.

The old saying of football (and other sports) revealing character is true. Also true is discipline, dedication and hard work build character. It has been true for more than a century of college football. The great majority of former college players agree.

Dollars and the pursuit of them are pervasive in big-time college sports programs. Perhaps the massive dollars have altered the priorities of too many coaches. Nick Saban is not one of them. Saban, like many former Alabama football coaches, is driven by a passion for excellence. That drive is embraced by many of his players, who do not just become better football players, but also better men.

Josh Jacobs is one example. Alabama football changed the life of Josh Jacobs. But it took a loving, determined, resilient father to clear Josh’s path to Tuscaloosa. A year ago, as Josh was emerging as an NFL player, Bama Hammer Contributor, Lauri Springer, wrote these words of praise,

"Josh Jacobs’ was homeless 10 years ago. He spent his childhood sleeping on nearly everything but a bed. His dad stood watch while he and his brothers slept in the back of his Chevy in parking lots."

When the Alabama football staff discovered Jacobs, he was an unheralded prospect. So little known, some rating entities had not assigned him any recruit ‘stars.’ With attention from Nick Saban, Jacobs became a 3-Star recruit before signing with the Crimson Tide. He had to battle for playing time as a Tide running back. Sharing touches, he made the most of nearly every one of them. Now he is one of the top, young running backs in the NFL. How well is Josh doing? Check out the tweet below.

Jacobs’ young NFL career is eclipsing two NFL legends. Alabama football fans proudly claim ‘Built by Bama’ when describing Crimson Tide heroes. For Josh Jacobs, an extraordinary NFL career could not have happened without an extraordinary father.

A Bama Hammer Tribute to Josh Jacobs. dark. Next

The Crimson Tide leader of men also benefitted from a determined father. What Nick Saban is as a man was nurtured by his demanding and uncompromising father.