Alabama Football: Expectations for JoJo Earle to be a Jaylen Waddle

Mandatory Credit: Gary Cosby Jr/The Tuscaloosa News via USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Gary Cosby Jr/The Tuscaloosa News via USA TODAY Sports /

Alabama football fans hope JoJo Earle will quickly become another Jaylen Waddle. Why he might and might not match those expectations.

The 2021 Alabama football offense has holes to fill. Caused by the departure of two Crimson Tide greats, the wide receiver hole is the deepest to fill. New Offensive Coordinator, Bill O’Brien and returning wide receivers coach, Holman Wiggins have the demanding task.

From the perspective of career accomplishments and polished skill, DeVonta Smith cannot be replaced. Some Alabama football fans believe Smith is arguably the best Crimson Tide wide receiver of all-time. Even more Tide fans know there is no argument. A plan to replace Smitty’s production must include at least two, 2021 wideouts.

There is no young Crimson Tide player with the polished route-running and speed package of DeVonta Smith. Some fans believe there is one with the skills and attributes of Jaylen Waddle. That player is JoJo Earle.

Check out Earle’s junior season highlights below and you will see an almost uncanny resemblance to Jaylen Waddle.

JoJo looks to be an immensely talented player. Videos from high school games beg a question of the athletic abilities of opponents. Is a player like Earle, making not-so-good, good or great high school players look silly? Texas high school football is serious business and the top programs at its 6A level regularly include some of the nation’s best. Earle’s high school, Aledo, in Aledo, TX is not one of the biggest schools and competes at the 5A level.

Even a notch down in Texas high school classification, Aledo’s football teams have received past mentions as one of the top 25 teams nationally. Two years ago Aledo was given a preseason ranking of No. 19 and described as,

"Aledo doesn’t have as many highly-touted prospects as some of the other top Texas teams … the team has the stats to back up its talent. It’s among the upper echelon of Texas football."

Earle finished his high school career as one of the top players in the state of Texas. In the 247Sports Composite, he is a 4-Star; No. 48 player overall and the No. 5 rated wide receiver in the 2021 class. He showed his versatility in his team’s state championship game, catching six passes for 133 yards and rushing for 91 yards on 12 carries. His team won its third straight state championship.

Like Waddle, Earle is perfect for the slot receiver role. He has good hands, quickness and blazing top-end speed. For a high school player, his route-running excels. At 5-feet-10 and 170 pounds, he is also similar to Waddle in size.

How long it will take JoJo Earle to reach his college football potential is not known. He did not enroll early and will miss the advantage of spring practice. Even with the later start, he could contribute in his freshman season.

Next. Early look at '21 SEC Power Shifts. dark

It is not fair to expect JoJo Earle to be another Jaylen Waddle. Becoming a great JoJo Earle is enough.