With college football set to resume in just over a month, the timing is perfect to recognize some of the players to watch from Broward County this season. In recent years different players from Broward have gone on to have great success in both college and professional football. As rookies, Sony Michel became a Super Bowl champion, while Lamar Jackson became the only rookie quarterback to make the playoffs. Calvin Ridley also stood out finishing tied for sixth for receiving touchdowns with 10.
The 2019 NFL Draft was another showcase of Broward County talent with four first round picks. That number was higher than any state in the country, and made headlines because of it. After 1300 yards and 14 touchdowns as a sophomore, Jerry Jeudy is without a doubt the next first rounder.
Broward County Bravehearts: Jerry Jeudy
Ready To Go
Jeudy was known by high schools as a standout youth league football player for the Coral Springs Chargers. He ended up attending Monarch High School where his older brother, Terry, also played. The school ended up with an unfamiliar buzz thanks to some other notable teammates. Calvin Ridley and his younger brother Riley were both part of the receiving group that included Jeudy.
That team ended up becoming the school’s first in program history to make the playoffs. Calvin Ridley also would blow up into a five star prospect by recruiting rankings and was heavily recruited as a junior. He would eventually commit to Nick Saban and Alabama but while they were visiting also would notice Jeudy stand out even as a freshman.
After his freshman season he would land an Alabama offer and also see his role increase in the offense as the older Ridley would be ineligible to play because of his age. Riley Ridley and Jeudy both decided to transfer to Deerfield High School after the season after a coaching change.
Next To Blow Up
Before his senior year, Jerry Jeudy blew up to being the top rated wide receiver in the state of Florida and a consensus five star prospect. Former teammate Calvin Ridley was also enjoying success at Alabama leading the SEC in receptions as a freshman. Alabama would also won the national championship and turned their focus on recruiting Jeudy next.
Before his senior season Jeudy decided to publicly commit to Alabama. That decision allowed him to focus on his high school football and academics. Jeudy would be enrolling early to Alabama so that he could participate in spring football.
Everything seemed fine, Deerfield had just won a playoff game to advance to the state semifinals in almost a decade. Shortly after the game though Jerry Jeudy was hit with the news that his younger sister, Aaliyah, passed away. His sister was born with complications and had tubes to assist her breathing. Even through the death of his younger sister, Jeudy played in the state semifinal game where his high school career came to an end.
— JJ⁴ (@jerryjeudy) November 26, 2016
It didn’t take long for Jeudy to get adjusted to the college game. In Alabama’s Spring game Jeudy caught five passes for 134 yards and two touchdowns. That performance was only a couple days before his 18th birthday. Even with playing behind a veteran group of receivers Jeudy put him self in position to play.
— JJ⁴ (@jerryjeudy) April 23, 2017
As a freshman he rotated in, and served as a valuable reserve, catching 14 passes for 264 and two touchdowns. Alabama won the national championship again and a chunk of the starting receivers were NFL bound. Most notably long time teammate Calvin Ridley was selected in the first round by the Atlanta Falcons. With his absence Jeudy would now be depended upon like the main option.
History Being Made
Since his arrival at Alabama, Jeudy was compared to the other great South Florida receivers like Cooper and Ridley. However in what was Jeudy’s first season actually being a starter his performance surpassed the two. The Crimson Tide opened up their season displaying one of the best offense’s in the history of college football.
Through Alabama’s first eight games the offense had scored 50 or more in six of those games. Jeudy was having a phenomenal season as well scoring multiple touchdowns in the first three games. He ended his sophomore campaign with 1315 yards on 68 catches and 14 touchdowns. Not only was he a consensus All-American but he also won the 2018 Biletnikoff Award, given to the best receiver in the nation. Alabama would eventually lose in the national championship after being undefeated through 14 games. Jeudy finished with five receptions for 139 yards and a touchdown but it wouldn’t ultimately be enough.
The 2020 Draft is sure to be a historic one with the amount of offensive talent projected to enter. There are talks that Jeudy may be the first overall pick in the NFL Draft. Though it hasn’t happened since 1996, Jeudy’s ability is drawing that much attention. This offseason he’s linked up with South Florida native Antonio Brown and worked out together.
Off season but never off ? pic.twitter.com/ofpACRhO7S
— JJ⁴ (@jerryjeudy) May 29, 2019
Alabama returns several key pieces to their offense and including Jeudy and Tua Tagovailoa. With the loss in the national championship still in the back of their minds, they’ll look to leave Alabama as champions once again.