Nick Saban has high praise for freshman receiver/returner who he says is 'a little Waddle-like'

Nick Kelly
The Tuscaloosa News

Alabama football coach Nick Saban doesn't make comparisons every day. 

In fact, almost never. But he made one Thursday night at Baumhower's Victory Grill during his weekly radio show. 

Media guest Jordan Rodgers, in Tuscaloosa to call the Alabama-Mercer game for SEC Network, asked Saban about freshman receiver JoJo Earle. 

Saban, while talking about Earle's return abilities, dropped in a familiar name. 

"He's a little Waddle-like when it comes to that," Saban said. 

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Waddle as in Jaylen Waddle, the former Alabama receiver who became a Miami Dolphins first-round pick this past spring. He led all Alabama returners with 19.3 yards per punt return during his three seasons. 

Saban added they want Earle to become a bit more confident and commanding in returns. 

"I think this guy is special, he can be special," Saban said. "He's also a really good returner."

Earle is a four-star prospect from Aledo, Texas. Ahead of the opener, Saban said Earle is fast, good in and out of breaks, a good route runner and a consistent catcher. 

On the depth chart Alabama released to start the season, Earle was listed as a co-starter with Slade Bolden at slot receiver and at punt returner.