Nearly every time Jerry Jeudy catches a pass, he’s a threat to break away for a speedy touchdown. That is, if he hasn’t already.
Time and time again, Jeudy has punished opposing defensive backs for being a step slow. If a safety attempts to cut Jeudy off, he’d better double-check the geometry of his angle, then add a few yards just to be safe. Jeudy has used his elite speed and acceleration to turn regular passes into highlights, defenders into helpless bystanders and big gains into spectacular touchdowns.
While its clear to anyone who has witnessed one of his scoring catches that Jeudy possesses top-notch quickness, it doesn’t feel that way to him.
“… When I get a ball, I actually feel slow,” Jeudy said. “But when I actually watch it … I don’t know why but I just feel slow when I get the ball. I’m actually running fast, I guess.”
If he’s having a difficult time believing his own speed, there’s a number of defensive backs who could vouch for it.
Missouri’s secondary would certainly do so. Jeudy torched the Tigers for a career-high 147 yards on Saturday. Eighty-one of those yards came on the second play of the game. Jeudy raced past a Missouri defender on a deep route before catching a perfectly placed pass from Tua Tagovailoa. To the surprise of no one, Jeudy outran the defender to the end zone.
The Missouri defensive started the play sagging off Jeudy, a strategy that could have given him more time to prepare for Jeudy’s acceleration. But with seven points on the board for Alabama, it clearly didn’t work.
Jeudy is equally difficult to stop regardless of whether he’s facing press coverage or if defenders are playing farther back, according to Alabama defensive back Shyheim Carter.
“It’s hard to do both,” Carter said. “He’s (Jeudy) a very great wide receiver with his route-running, catching, and smarts, he’s very good. It’s hard to do both.”
His score against Missouri wasn’t the first time Jeudy has set the tone early in a game this season. He’s been an integral cog of Alabama’s quick-start offense that has scored within four minutes on each of its opening drives. Out of seven first-drive touchdowns, Jeudy is responsible for three.
Jeudy is blazing past more than just defenders this season. He’s zooming toward history.
Having already caught nine touchdowns this season, Jeudy is on pace to break Amari Cooper’s single-season mark of 16. Through the same number of games (7) in 2014, the year in which he set the record, Cooper had seven scoring catches. Jeudy is also staking his claim as the country’s most explosive receiver. He’s currently pacing the nation in yards per catch, averaging 27.12.
Despite his track record, Jeudy doesn’t even consider himself the swiftest Crimson Tide wide receiver. Henry Ruggs III owns that honor for a feat he accomplished this summer. In practice, Ruggs was recorded running 24 miles per hour on the Catapult GPS devices that Alabama’s players wear in their uniforms.
“Clocking 24? I haven’t clocked 24 yet,” Jeudy said. “I give it to Ruggs. It’s between Ruggs and Waddle. They have good speed.”