Fab Five: Lessons from mom took Jeremiah Cobb from undersized back to 2,000 yard rusher

·4 min read

Montgomery Catholic Jeremiah Cobb realized early that he could help his mom through football. Now with a commitment to Auburn he has the opportunity to do just that.

He took that vision with him to every practice.

"She was on my mind when I went out and worked," Cobb said. "I really just wanted to be able to help her and I thought football was the way. So I went out and worked hard to help her."

Catholic coach Kirk Johnson knows that Cobb has a chance to create lasting change in his family.

"That’s generational change," Johnson said. "Being able to come from a situation of an only parent ... to say, 'Hey, mom I’m going to school for free.' That’s huge. 'Not only am I going for free but I’m going to an SEC school that plays at a high level for free.' "

Catholic High School’s Jeremiah Cobb is shown in Montgomery, Ala., on Sunday August 7, 2022.
Catholic High School’s Jeremiah Cobb is shown in Montgomery, Ala., on Sunday August 7, 2022.

It was a work ethic instilled in Cobb by his mother, Rachel Cobb, that helped him go from an undersized back to the No. 3 player in the Montgomery Advertiser's Fab Five, a ranking of the top senior college prospects as rated by the newspaper.

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Rated as a four-star recruit by 247Sports and the sixth-best running back in the country, Cobb ran for 2,163 yards with 30 touchdowns during his junior season. He also had 561 receiving yards with eight touchdowns. Cobb ran for 2,013 yards with 18 touchdowns during his sophomore year.

The work ethic was developed through lessons his mom taught him when he was younger. When Jeremiah was 8, his mother completed her accounting degree while working a full-time job which left a lasting impression on him.

Those lessons from mom paired with Johnson's mentorship helped the younger Cobb add 40 pounds of muscle since entering high school.

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"Just always going out there and being the best that he can be in that moment," Rachel Cobb said. "His coach has been pushing his eating habits and staying on top of that. He's tried to be more consistent with that. Going out there and being the best that you can be every day. Anything worth doing is worth doing well, that's what I always told him. ... That's what I always pushed in his ear and that's what he does."

Catholic High School’s Jeremiah Cobb is shown in Montgomery, Ala., on Sunday August 7, 2022.
Catholic High School’s Jeremiah Cobb is shown in Montgomery, Ala., on Sunday August 7, 2022.

Now it's time Jeremiah Cobb's work ethic to start rubbing off on those around him, including backfield mate, quarterback Caleb McCreary. Between Cobb's sophomore and junior seasons, the duo worked out together. McCreary credits Cobb for his improvement.

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"He pushed me to be a better quarterback," McCreary said. "Him being as good as an athlete ... I had to run the ball a little bit. He influenced me to be a very hard worker and get after (it) on Friday nights."

The duo practiced their run plays to get their timing down last season but focused on building trust as a backfield and as a team off the field. It worked out. The Knights went 13-1 while reaching the class 3A semifinals.

It worked out for Cobb. He doubled his rushing touchdowns while becoming more of an all-purpose back by increasing his receiving yardage and touchdowns despite not playing in the second half of most games.

It was during one of those team-bonding activities -- a paintball outing -- during that summer that McCreary realized that Cobb is the same on and off the field: competitive and always finding a way to win.

It is also in those moments that it is clear why Cobb's teammates love him.

"Even when he's down, you want to have have Jeremiah Cobb in your locker room. He always brings the energy, the personality that he has," McCreary said. "Even if he wasn't our starting running back, I'd still want him in my backfield or I'd still want him at practice with me putting in the hours."

Vysen Lang of Pike Road, from left, James Smith and Qua Russaw from Carver, and Jeremiah Cobb from Catholic are shown in Montgomery, Ala., on Sunday August 7, 2022.
Vysen Lang of Pike Road, from left, James Smith and Qua Russaw from Carver, and Jeremiah Cobb from Catholic are shown in Montgomery, Ala., on Sunday August 7, 2022.

This article originally appeared on Montgomery Advertiser: Jeremiah Cobb used lessons from his mom toward Auburn commitment