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Alabama Football Impact Players

Jaylen Waddle displays next level speed in UA’s blowout win over Louisiana

Marvin Gentry - USA TODAY Sports

Picture this, Alabama will have Jaylen Waddle for at least two more years. 

When your nickname from teammates all summer was “human joystick,” one has to recognize the natural talent you possess. People around the Crimson Tide’s football program knew the native Texan and elite receiver prospect was good; however, it may have been under sold too. 

After seeing a couple his scoring attempts get negated due to penalties, Waddle had fans rejoicing inside Bryant-Denny Stadium as he recorded Alabama’s third touchdown of the matchup versus Louisiana.

His speed combined with vision, footwork and comfortability in space with the ball led to a 63-yard return on a punt in the first quarter. Freshman linebacker Jaylen Moody got the key block, and Waddle cashed his invitation to the painted grass.

Video comes via Inside Bama Recruiting on Twitter

If that did not command your attention, then his 95-yard run away from the Ragin’ Cajuns absolutely did. Redshirt freshman quarterback Mac Jones found Waddle on what looked like a simple slant or drag pattern and the 177-pounder did the rest. It wasn’t like AJ McCarron’s 99-yard hook up to Amari Cooper in the 2013 Iron Bowl contest with Auburn, but Waddle made sure he was on the receiving end of the second longest completion in Crimson Tide history.  

Video via Inside Bama Recruiting (Twitter)

He finished the game as Alabama’s leader in receiving yards (138) and shared a team-high two touchdown receptions with Henry Ruggs III. Following the game, Nick Saban spoke on how important Waddle is to the receiving unit and how his playmaking abilities help the team. 

“Jaylen has really made some explosive plays,” Saban said.  

“Had a great punt return today. He is a really explosive guy as a receiver and has really added depth to that core. We are pleased with his development and he’s been a great addition in the depth of our team in terms of guys that can make explosive plays on offense.” 

At the conclusion of his first 100-yard performance and first multi-touchdown game, Waddle now sits at 366 receiving yards. He enters next week’s meeting with Arkansas as the program’s second-highest in yards behind Jerry Jeudy, who will come into the contest with 423 yards.

Stephen M. Smith is the managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @CoachingMSmith.

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