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Is JoJo Earle the next freshman phenom wide receiver for the Tide?

Jojo Earle with a catch in warmups for Alabama before scrimmage
Photo by Kent Gidley of Alabama Athletics

Does “Wide Receiver U” have the next superstar ready to emerge?

Nick Saban has mentioned him in pressers throughout fall camp, and Rece Davis singled him out during Saturday’s segment on ESPN’s College GameDay. JoJo Earle was a superstar athlete at Aledo (Texas) High School. He starred in football and track, juggling responsibilities at wide receiver, running back, and return specialist. Earle performed the 100 meters, 200 meters, long jump, and relays in track.

In football, the talented four-star propelled Aledo to back-to-back Texas Class 5A Divison-II state championships in 2018 and 2019.

He recorded 84 catches for 1,601 yards receiving and 15 touchdowns as a junior in 2019.

RELATED: ESPN’s Lee Corso is not in favor of Tide winning back-to-back national titles

As a sophomore, Earle had 65 receptions for 1,090 yards and 16 scores. He posted 14 rushing touchdowns in two years and was electrifying on punt and kickoff returns. He spurned LSU fans and shocked ‘Bama nation when he chose the Tide over the Tigers during the early signing period in December of 2020. Since his arrival on campus in the summer, Earle has turned heads.

He has made multiple big plays in preseason scrimmages, including a couple of touchdowns.

Coach Saban has praised him throughout the summer, and he is in a position to win the starting job at punt returner or kick returner. Alabama has a list of receivers that began as freshman phenoms. Julio Jones started the trend in 2008, and names such as Amari Cooper, Calvin Ridley, Jerry Jeudy, Henry Ruggs III, DeVonta Smith, and Jaylen Waddle followed. Smith transformed himself from a phenom during the 2018 College Football Playoff National Championship Game to a Heisman Trophy winner in the 2020 season.

Miami could have a lot on its hands with Earle next week. He has all the tools to be Alabama’s next elite playmaker.

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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 “watch” him on Twitter, via @CoachingMSmith.

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