By Tyler Martin/Special to The Tuscaloosa News
The season after winning the Biletnikoff Award, an honor for the nation’s best wide receiver, would normally bring immense pressure to any other receiver to duplicate that performance.
Alabama receiver Jerry Jeudy is not any other receiver.
“I do not feel that there is a lot of pressure to repeat last year,” Jeudy said during media day Saturday. “Any pressure I have I put it on myself. The pressure is me showing up to practice each and every day and getting better.”
The south Florida native caught 68 passes for 1,315 yards and 14 touchdowns a season ago. Those numbers and his elusive speed, lighting quick lateral movements, and highlight-reel jukes have him shooting up near the top for the 2020 NFL Draft.
Jeudy ranks No. 1 on Mel Kiper’s Big Board with fellow teammate Tua Tagovaila coming in at No. 4. Before next spring’s draft, Jeudy has more work to do in 2019 and says he is not focused on what the experts are saying about him, for now.
“It is important to keep that out of your mind right now,” Jeudy said. “If you have a bad game or a bad year, that really does not matter anymore. I am just focusing on being the best player I can be in practice and in games. If I can be consistent with that, then (NFL dreams) will come in the end.”
Jeudy’s main responsibility now is preparing for what the 2019 season has in store. During the offseason, he posted a video on his Twitter account of him working on his route running skills with Oakland Raiders star Antonio Brown in their home state of Florida.
“I would not say that I work on those (jukes and skill moves) too much,” Jeudy said. “That is something I was just born with. I just stick to the basics and work on the fundamentals that I have to work on.”
Alabama defensive back Trevon Diggs said Jeudy has been showing up in his dreams lately.
“I had a dream a few days ago that someone was going to ask me who the best receiver in the SEC was,” Diggs said. “I just kept thinking about Jerry Jeudy and Henry Ruggs III. They are both very good and they have their own style and it makes our defensive backs very versatile when covering them.”
Last month at SEC Media Days, Jeudy was asked about where he would rank himself among all-time Crimson Tide wide receivers and he put himself fourth behind Julio Jones, Amari Cooper, and Calvin Ridley. If he has a monster junior season, as expected, then he could see himself at the top of that list sooner rather than later.