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Alabama’s Jaylen Waddle, four others named to Sporting News’ All-America Team

Cedric Mason - Touchdown Alabama Magazine

It appears as though Alabama finally has a student-athlete represented as a first-team selection for an All-America list.

After getting showered with second and third-team nominations, Jaylen Waddle was recognized as a first-teamer on Tuesday – according to a report from Sporting News. 

The sophomore was honored for his efforts in the return game. 

A native of Houston, Texas, Waddle had opposing teams in fear of punting or kicking the ball in his direction.

He led the nation with an average of 25 yards per punt return and totaled 474 yards on 19 attempts.

Waddle also added in 152 kick return yards on four attempts, with an average of 38 yards per return.

The 5-foot-10, 182-pounder chimed in with two touchdowns, both coming against Southeastern Conference schools.

Waddle executed a 77-yard punt return score versus LSU at Bryant-Denny Stadium and a 98-yard kick return score against Auburn on the road. 

RELATED: WATCH: Alabama receiver, Jaylen Waddle speaks on how he wants to finish the season strong

Despite the Crimson Tide dropping both games, he was a star. 

The quartet of DeVonta Smith, Jedrick Wills, Trevon Diggs and Xavier McKinney all were honorees for the second team.

Smith led Alabama in receiving yards (1,200) and touchdown catches (13), while Wills allowed just one sack and anchored an offensive line that surrendered just 12 sacks in 381 pass attempts.

He also helped Najee Harris total his first career 1,000-yard season (1,088) and post 11 touchdowns on 185 carries.

Diggs boasted a team-high eight pass breakups this season and collected three interceptions – including one returned for a score. 

As for McKinney, he led the team in total tackles (85) and had 4.5 tackles for loss, two sacks, five breakups, four quarterback pressures, four forced fumbles and three interceptions. 

Alabama is preparing to face Michigan in the Citrus Bowl on Jan. 1, 2020. 

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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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