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Making The Case: Jaylen Waddle

With National Signing Day right around the corner, several of the nation’s top prospects are nearing final decisions in advance of officially signing their letters-of-intent on Wednesday.

CLASS OF '18 RANKINGS: Rivals250 | Team | State | Position | JUCO

Today, experts from the Rivals.com network examine where five-star Houston (Texas) Episcopal wide receiver Jaylen Waddle will end up playing his college football in advance of his Signing Day announcement. The candidates are Texas A&M and Alabama.

THE SITUATION

One of the nation’s most electric offensive playmakers, Waddle has been a priority for several programs this cycle, with Oregon, TCU, Florida State, Texas A&M and Alabama all hosting Waddle for official visits. But the closer we get to signing day it’s shaped up to be a battle between the Tide and the Aggies to land his signature. So which school will he pick? We asked our team experts to state the case for their respective programs and let National Recruiting Director Mike Farrell issue a verdict.

ALABAMA 

"Waddle has been a priority target for the Crimson Tide since the spring. He visited Tuscaloosa several times and developed a very strong relationship with the coaching staff. Alabama has a young group of receivers, but there is not a lot of depth. Alabama has been considered the team to beat for a the last few months. His decision is expected to come down to Alabama and Texas A&M. The Aggies have made things very interesting since Jimbo Fisher became the head coach in College Station. It is very close." – Andrew Bone, BamaInsider.com

TEXAS A&M

"The Aggies return all of their wideouts from last year, save one: the dynamic Christian Kirk. They are in need of an explosive slot receiver with elusiveness, but with the speed to be a threat down the field. The closest thing out there to Kirk is Jaylen Waddle, who will jump right into the fray for immediate playing time and a lot of catches in Jimbo Fisher's quick passing offense. He's also a Houston-area guy, so adding a five-star from the area will make a statement that the new Aggie staff isn't just here to cash paychecks." - Mark Passwaters, AggieYell.com

REGIONAL PERSPECTIVE

"The Aggies have a great shot at Waddle for a variety of reasons but the most obvious is the connection that the friends and other close people involved in his recruitment tied to A&M. He has been heavily linked to Alabama, but staying close to home - in-state - is an opportunity that might be too good to pass up, considering several recruits that he is close to personally still are committed to A&M. He would be the star of the Aggies 2018 signees and a much-needed feather in Jimbo Fisher's hat in his first recruiting class but Texas A&M has to close hard on him." - Nick Krueger, Rivals.com Texas recruiting analyst

THE VERDICT

"I’ll go with Texas A&M here as there seems to be a really good connection between Waddle and Jimbo Fisher. The Aggies' new staff are selling him on the Christian Kirk role and production early." – Mike Farrell, Rivals.com Recruiting Director