Three weeks into the 2018 college football seasons and there are many aspects to which we can overreact. One item that cannot be ignored, however, is the huge emergence of the Alabama Crimson Tide’s passing game. Many can believe that all the glory goes to their unbelievably talented quarterback in Tua Tagovailoa. The truth of the Tide’s elite passing game is the collective effort and collaboration of the entire offense. Wide receiver Jerry Jeudy has always been highly regarded as a talented receiver but this season is a breakout year for him. So far in this 2018 College Football season, the Tide’s Jerry Jeudy Is An Early Biletnikoff Award Contender, despite not being on the watch list during the preseason.
Jerry Jeudy Is Tide’s New Star Receiver
Just three games into the season, Jeudy has become the Tide’s top receiver in production and consistency. So far this season, he has accounted for 11 receptions for 287 receiving yards and 6 touchdowns. Jeudy has averaged 26.7 yards per reception, which is 5th in the nation. His receiving yards are the 30th highest in the nation and his six touchdowns are second in the nation. The receiver who has 7 touchdowns is Hawaii’s John Ursua, who has already played 4 games this season. Jeudy is a receiver who waited his turn with Calvin Ridley taking the majority of receptions for Alabama last season. He became a high-valued receiver for the Tide based on his versatile route running and his ability to outmaneuver and outrun the opposing defensive backs. Jeudy has a rare blend of speed, great hands, motor, and agility.
The focus of the Tide’s offense this season was the transition from Jalen Hurts to Tagovailoa as the starting quarterback. With Tagovailoa’s explosive to go with a slate of great receivers, including Jeudy, the Tide are ranked first in the nation in points per game (56.7) and first in offensive efficiency (98.4). DeVonta Smith has accounted for 204 yards on 10 receptions and a touchdown. Henry Ruggs III (8 receptions) and tight end Irv Smith Jr. (9 receptions) have each accounted for two touchdowns. While other receivers have created as much impact in some categories as Jeudy, they do not match the impact in the other categories. In this new, explosive Alabama offense that thrives off of the passing game, the Crimson Tide will be looking to pass more as they play against more efficient defenses.
Jeudy Is On Pace For A Huge Season
Through each of Alabama’s games, Jeudy has accounted for two touchdowns in each match-up. His best game so far is three receptions for 136 yards and two touchdowns. His longest reception is a 79-yard touchdown throw from Tagovailoa on a breakout vertical route. Jeudy is on pace to account for a huge season with the Crimson Tide if he continues his impact. If Jeudy were to play all 12 regular-season games and continue his statistical impact, he will have accounted for 1,148 yards on 44 yards and 24 touchdowns. This is only an on-pace evaluation of his beginning impact but it also means he could account for much more. In the Tide’s first two games of the season, he only accounted for 151 yards on eight receptions. Against Louisville, he accounted for 64 yards and against Arkansas State, he accounted for 87 yards.
There are multiple variables that can come into this possible achievement for Jeudy. Alabama could lose Tagovailoa due to injury for some time and have their less productive quarterback in Hurts throwing the ball. Both Smith and Ruggs could create more of an impact for the offense and outgain Jeudy. More likely, the Tide will be facing more efficient defenses in the coming weeks than Ole Miss, because of their 126th ranked passing defense (355 passing yards allowed per game). Jeudy has been eager for his time to shine for the Tide offense and looks to create much more. When Alabama plays more efficient teams, their defense will face more of a struggle than the past three teams. This leaves the Tide’s offense for a longer duration of time than being done shortly after halftime. Having Jeudy and the offense playing the entire game will be great for his stats.
Other Receivers In The Hunt For Biletnikoff Award
There are many other wide receivers in the hunt for the Fred Biletnikoff award. In 4 games played, Hawaii’s John Ursua has accounted for 546 yards and seven touchdowns on 32 receptions. Oklahoma’s Marquise Brown has accounted for 412 yards and 3 touchdowns on 9 receptions. Brown will be a huge part of the Sooners’ offense even more with QB Kyler Murray making a Heisman potential season. Sooners star running back Rodney Anderson also suffered a season-ending injury against Florida Atlantic in week one. Arizona State’s N’Keal Harry has accounted for 315 yards and four touchdowns on 21 receptions. West Virginia’s Gary Jennings has accounted for 210 yards and four touchdowns on 12 receptions so far this season. This is with the Mountaineers not starting Big-12 conference play yet.
Overall, it is too early in the season to determine position winners as they are 12 total weeks left. For Jeudy to push for the Biletnikoff Award is a goal for him to continue his impact and production. In 2014, Alabama Amari Cooper won the Biletnikoff Award based on his huge production and consistency. Cooper accounted for 1,727 yards and 16 touchdowns on 124 receptions that season. In his first three games of that season, Cooper accounted for 454 yards and 2 touchdowns on 33 receptions. Jeudy has a chance to surpass Cooper on some of his accomplishment from the 2014 season with this season’s explosive Tide offense.