Might as well call him Jerry “Juking” Jeudy.
Alabama’s leading wide receiver has pulled off the ‘gotcha’ move multiple times this season and is bound to continue doing so. It’s no longer a surprise when it happens. But there is still a sense of awe.
“He’s probably one of the most elusive in the nation right now, if you were to rate them,” UA running back Josh Jacobs said. “It’s always special to see what he does with the ball in his hands.”
The ability to shake off defenders goes back to Jeudy’s childhood. He actually took notes from former Louisville quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson, who’s now in the NFL. The two played together as kids.
Once Jackson hit Jeudy with a juke move, and successfully shook him off, Jeudy knew he had to figure out how to add that to his own skill set. It happened during a backyard game that wasn’t actually in a yard.
“It was on the street, like a small little street,” Jeudy said. “If you’re on the grass, you’re going to get hit. If you’re on concrete, they’re not going to hit you. So it’s a real small space. You having a small space helps you out with knowing how to juke and stuff.”
Now Jeudy is on a big stage, showing off what he can do.
There’s a video going around on Twitter that’s a compilation of Jeudy’s jukes. He has seen it and even picked out a favorite moment. It’s the first clip of the 29-second video. Jeudy is about to make his break toward the end zone when an LSU defender launches himself at Jeudy, who ultimately makes him miss in a gasp-worthy way.
Jerry Jeudy is different 👀 pic.twitter.com/zsJV2C0C6u
— Receiver Life (@ReceiverLife_) November 11, 2018
“If he would have connected, though, he probably would have knocked my head off,” Jeudy said. “I just saw him last minute, stepped back and he blew it.”
So have other opponents.
Jeudy seems to be very aware of his location on the field. Against Ole Miss, he caught a deep ball and looked like he was going to run right out of bounds based on momentum alone. Instead, Jeudy stopped on a dime right before that could happen.
He was in the clear, until he turned to start running again and his foot stepped on the sideline.
“I’d try and close space fast (on Jeudy) because I know he’s trying to look at you and what you’re going to do before he decides to make a move on you,” Alabama linebacker Dylan Moses said. “I’d try to close first, and if we were in a game-type situation like a scrimmage or something, I’d probably go for his legs.”
That’s given somebody can catch Jeudy.
Nationally, the sophomore is ranked fifth with an average of 20.56 yards per reception and tied for sixth with 10 touchdown receptions. He has caught 45 passes this season for 925 yards, putting him ninth on the UA single-season receiving yards list.
“When I see him start up, I’m already knowing what he’s about to do,” Jacobs said. “So when he does it, I’m like, ‘Man…’”
Reach Terrin Waack at email@example.com or at 205-722-0229.