Freshman wide receiver Jaylen Waddle was one of the newcomers listed on the depth chart distributed earlier this week. He was one of the freshmen that was referenced the most by teammates during fall camp.
“He’s a guy that can make plays,” sophomore wide receiver Henry Ruggs said. “He’s had a couple of good plays at practice and he’s a guy that can help us.”
He also has a reputation as one of Alabama’s fastest players. Ruggs claimed to be the fastest of Alabama’s sophomore wide receivers. DeVonta Smith and Jerry Jeudy didn’t disagree with that, but Waddle might be in the conversation.
“I think between Ruggs and Waddle, they both got elite speed,” Jeudy said.
Waddle and redshirt freshman Chadarius Townsend were listed together behind Jeudy at the depth chart for Alabama’s “H” wide receiver position. He was the only true freshman among Alabama’s receivers or running backs on the depth chart, and one of just two true freshmen listed in the two-deep on offense. Center Emil Ekiyor Jr. was the other.
Waddle was also listed as the No. 2 punt returner behind Trevon Diggs.
“(Waddle is) very shifty and quick,” Jeudy said. “He’s got elite speed, so that really helps him so that linebackers and safeties won’t be able to touch him. So, that really helps him get open.”
Saturday’s opener will be the first opportunity for Waddle to play since he finished his senior season at Episcopal High School in Houston, Texas. He committed to Alabama on National Signing Day and arrived on campus this summer.
“He’s been really fun to watch,” tight end Miller Forristall said. “He’s one of those new guys that has come in and, I think, done a very good job just doing what they are asking him to do, and continuing to do so is for the coaches to decide how that plays out, but I think that he’s done really well.”
Reach Ben Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org or 205-722-0196.