Regardless of the coronavirus, defensive backs will not give Jaylen Waddle six feet of space.
The explosive wide receiver enters his junior season at Alabama in the fall, and he’s taking this moment of social distancing to increase his speed, route running and overall production as a whole. A native of Houston, Texas, the former four-star was putting moves on competition in a flag football game. According to a video from EJ Holland, a recruiting insider for the Michigan Wolverines, Waddle burned a guy on a simple inside drag route and hauled in a touchdown.
He jumped off the line of scrimmage and worked his way around the defender.
— Overtime (@overtime) May 25, 2020
As for the young man in coverage, he could not get a hand on Waddle.
The 5-foot-10, 182-pounder has been phenomenal in his first two years, but now he’s prepared for more excellence at receiver.
Waddle is responsible for 1,408 yards receiving with 13 touchdowns on 178 catches – including 560 yards with six scores on 33 catches in 2019.
Despite these numbers and recording four career 100-yard games, national media views him more as a return specialist at times. He does have 720 punt return yards, 175 kick return yards and three touchdowns in two seasons.
Waddle led all of college football last year in boasting an average of 24.4 yards per punt return.
One of his four scores versus Auburn was a 98-yard kick return in the Iron Bowl at Jordan-Hare Stadium. He was the Freshman of the Year and made the All-Freshman team for the Southeastern Conference in 2018.
Last season, Waddle was named first-team All-American via Football Writers Association of America, Sporting News and Pro Football Focus.
He was the SEC’s Special Teams Player of the Year and was second-team All-SEC from the league’s coaching as an all-purpose player.
While the Crimson Tide has DeVonta Smith as its most experienced weapon for Mac Jones, Waddle sees an opportunity to be Jones’ primary explosive target for touchdowns.
Like Smith, the junior eyes a chance to carve out a potential first-round stock for the 2021 NFL Draft.
Waddle is getting himself ready right now.
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