Alabama defensive back Josh Jobe and wide receiver John Metchie each have been in the Crimson Tide football program for four years.
They have absorbed an exorbitant amount of football knowledge in that time from watching some of the best players to come through the program.
Metchie had a quartet of NFL first-round draft picks to learn from - Jerry Jeudy, Henry Ruggs III, DeVonta Smith and Jaylen Waddle.
“Everyone made each other better,” Metchie said. “Everyone is so competitive and it just made all of us better. I saw how they did things and how they handled certain situations.”
Jobe had a couple of first-round draft picks to observe as well - Minkah Fitzpatrick and Patrick Surtain Jr.
Now it’s their time to impart some wisdom to the younger crop of future Crimson Tide stars.
But the veteran duo don’t see themselves as hands-on leaders. They prefer to show how it’s done.
“I’m not too much of a vocal guy,” said Jobe, who has played in 41 career games. “I just lead by example and try to help out the freshmen. Keep working and one day they will be starting and telling younger guys how things are at Alabama and what the standards are.”
Said Metchie, “The leadership role is to be myself and lead by example, and not try to be somebody I’m not. Just be someone who goes out and puts in the work. It’s just like everything else - trusting the process of putting in the time and playing your role, and as that changes, embrace it.”
Both made big impacts their junior seasons as Alabama brought home its 18th national championship last season. Jobe started opposite Surtain at cornerback and was an honorable mention All-American.
“My main focus is to keep working with emphasis on everything I do,” Jobe said.
Metchie started every game as well in 2020, catching 55 passes for 916 yards with six touchdowns.
“When you love this sport you want to be the best player you can be,” Metchie said of his goals for this season. “So I just want to work on everything. Winning a national championship is the clear goal for me.”
Metchie calls Toronto home, but he’s a world traveler of sorts. He was born in Taiwan to his Taiwanese mother and Nigerian father. The family moved to Ghana shortly after and then to Canada, where Metchie spent most of his childhood.
“It was definitely different than a lot of my peers,” Metchie said of his childhood. “I had a very cultured background, lived with a lot of different types of people and a lot of different places. It’s all I know. I know culture and diversity.”
He can’t speak Cantonese as well as his brother, but Metchie does know enough to have a conversation with his mom.
“My mom speaks to me in Mandarin and I respond in a little bit of Mandarin, but mostly English,” Metchie said. “It’s a difficult language but I’ve been hearing it my whole life.”
Jobe isn’t a world traveler, but the Miami native did attend a high school in Connecticut his senior year. He signed with Alabama and came to campus with high expectations from others and himself.
Jobe soon found a spot in the rotation at defensive back, a position that requires a short memory. When he gives up a big play or makes a mistake, Jobe said he blocks it out.
“I just tell myself to move on to the next play and don’t think about it and think of all the things you can accomplish by doing great things,” Jobe said. “Keep playing ball. Throw out any negative thoughts and keep playing ball.”
Metchie doesn’t think about playing defensive back, but he showed last year that he could have a promising career at that position. In the SEC Championship Game against Florida, Metchie laid a hit on a defender who intercepted a pass, which jarred the ball loose, in the first half. Alabama recovered the ball and scored a touchdown on the next play.
It was all instinct for Metchie.
“We hate turning the ball over,” Metchie said. “It’s something we never want to do. It’s in our nature to get the ball back or to chase the ball. I had a good angle and a good shot at the guy and I took it. I’m glad we were able to get the ball back.”
If Jobe and Metchie have shown improvement through the years it’s because they face each other in practice. Sometimes Metchie gets the best of Jobe, and vice versa. The end result, though, is each player gets better.
“He gives me his best and I give him my best,” Jobe said. “We work hard together and I learn from him. Going against him makes me better against other opponents.”