Josh Jacobs appears to be a victim of assumptions.
Alabama's 5-foot-10, 216-pound junior running back spent most of last season on a bad ankle, and that was after missing the Crimson Tide's first two games with a hamstring injury. Jacobs said in January that his ankle actually was broken the latter half of the season, and he underwent surgery that knocked him out of contact work during spring practice.
Jacobs has been healthy so far in preseason camp, even if he occasionally hears that he isn't.
"I've been practicing every day and taking every rep since camp started," Jacobs told reporters Monday. "Wherever that comes from, I don't know. I'm just ready to get back to the mix."
Although Jacobs isn't exactly the face of Alabama's offense, there are two seasons of proof that the Crimson Tide are far more effective when he's contributing. As a freshman in 2016 out of Tulsa, Oklahoma, Jacobs rushed 85 times for 567 yards, averaging 6.7 yards per carry.
He had only 46 carries last season, but he gained 284 yards for a 6.2-yard clip.
Senior Damien Harris is Alabama's starting tailback, having posted consecutive 1,000-yard seasons, while sophomore Najee Harris could be on the verge of a huge year, having erupted late for 64 yards on six carries in January's 26-23 overtime win over Georgia in the national championship game. Jacobs knows he may fit somewhere behind those two and in front of others.
"The coaches make the decisions," Jacobs said, "so at the end of the day, I've got to do my part. I've got to play my role on the team."
And what is that role?
"Right now, my role is a lot of things," he said, smiling. "I'm just trying to find what I can do best for the team."
Being versatile has worked for Jacobs to this point, having caught 14 passes each of his first two seasons. His 14 receptions last year are tied with receiver Jerry Jeudy and tight end Irv Smith for the most among returning players.
Jacobs also has been working on kickoff returns, but he doesn't believe that separates himself from others.
"They use me different, but I wouldn't say I'm different," he said. "Everybody in that room can catch. Everybody in that room can run routes. Everybody in that room can run.
"Most teams don't expect running backs to do receiver routes, so it definitely adds an aspect to the game."
Jacobs believes every day has been better than the one before, and he's eager to show what he can do, whether people think he's healthy or not.
"He's absolutely 100 percent," coach Nick Saban said in a recent news conference. "He's had a really good first few days of camp. He's very explosive, very quick and very fast. He's been able to take all the reps.
"He's done extremely well."
Alabama added to its top-ranked class of commitments for 2019 on Monday by receiving a nonbinding pledge from in-state cornerback Malachi Moore. The 6-foot, 170-pounder from Trussville is rated by 247Sports.com as the nation's No. 13 corner and the No. 148 prospect overall.
Moore, who has taken multiple trips this year to Alabama and Tennessee, is the Crimson Tide's 13th commitment from a top-200 prospect.
Contact David Paschall at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6524.