football Edit

Jaylen Waddle chooses to Roll with the Crimson Tide on NSD

Jaylen Waddle has been one of the most closely watched prospects in the country, and one of the most difficult to confidently predict where he would be committing to. Towards the end of his recruitment, it didn’t seem as though there was much doubt that things came down to Alabama and Texas A&M, but the conventional wisdom suggested that the Aggies had the edge due to Jimbo Fisher’s previous relationship to Waddle when he was recruiting in at Florida State. In addition to friendships he has with those that had been committed to A&M and Aggies assistants moving to build relationships with those close to his recruitment, too many factors seemed to favor Texas A&M. None of that was able to overcome the tradition that Alabama had as a winning program under Nick Saban, and Waddle chose the Tide in a bit of an upset on Wednesday.



If any more reason is needed than the fact that Waddle is a five-star receiver, then the other obvious thing is winning a head-to-head recruiting battle with a conference rival just under two hours from his house. As a player, few are more versatile and dynamic as Waddle, who gets pigeonholed into being considered a slot receiver - primarily because of his height - but his explosiveness can make him a weapon from anywhere on the field. In addition to his prowess as a pass-catcher, he can certainly step right in as a return man thanks his ability to make people miss and burst in the open field.


The team that’s left feeling the most let down is certainly A&M. Nabbing Waddle would have been an impressive showing of recruiting strength early in Fisher’s tenure. From a numbers perspective, Waddle wasn’t a necessity in the A&M’s class - the Aggies have a nice trio of receivers signed in 2018, but that doesn’t mean they wouldn’t have liked to have him aboard. Oregon made as hard of a push for him as it could, and after four-star wide receiver Miles Battle de-committed and Devon Williams chose USC on Signing Day, not picking him up hurt. The Ducks have one more card left to play at the position with J.J. Tucker, but they were clearly hoping for more in this class.