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Big Play Jerry Jeudy

By BJ Bennett
SouthernPigskin.com
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Already, Jerry Jeudy is an unprecedented next-level playmaker for a record-setting offense.

At a place where the likes of Calvin Ridley, Amari Cooper and Julio Jones have set the standard at wide receiver in recent years, Alabama's Jerry Jeudy is producing at a never-before-seen rate. The former five-star recruit leads all of college football with 25.06 yards per catch, an average that would set a new SEC mark (for participants with more than 27 grabs) and ranks third in the country with ten touchdown receptions. Already, Jeudy is an unprecedented next-level playmaker for a record-setting offense leading the nation with 54.1 points per game.

Jeudy started his sophomore season in an all-out sprint. He caught two touchdown passes in each of the Crimson Tide's opening three games, scoring Alabama's first touchdown of the year on an eleven-yard pass from Tua Tagovailoa in the season-opener against Louisville. Later that same half, Jeudy caught a 25-yard scoring strike. Of his first eleven catches in 2018, six of them went for touchdowns. In that stretch, the Crimson Tide scored 51, 57 and 62 total points. Tagovailoa-to-Jeudy, for Alabama, has become a defining bond. 

Catching a touchdown pass from Tagovailoa on just his third-career reception a year ago, Jeudy has helped his quarterback, already a legend from his game-winning pass in the national championship game, emerge as the clear Heisman Trophy front-runner. Tagovailoa is on pace to set a new single-season passer rating record by a wide margin and establish fresh marks for yards per attempt and touchdown-to-interception ratio. In each of those respective categories, Jeudy continues to be prominently featured.   

Currently, Jeudy has scored as many touchdowns as A.J. Brown and Deebo Samuel, the pre-season first-team All-SEC wide receivers, combined. Jeudy has more yards than Ryan Davis and Terry Godwin, the pre-season second-team selections. In addition to four multi-score games, Jeudy has three outings with at least 135 yards. He is tied for the national lead with three catches of at least 60 yards. Additionally, Jeudy has multiple catches in every game this season.

The last player to top 1,000 yards receiving and average over 25 yards per catch in a single season was Georgia Tech's Demaryius Thomas, a five-time Pro Bowler and Super Bowl champion, in 2009. Potentially on his way to such a finish, Jeudy is compiling unparalleled production. 

In Saturday's showdown between Alabama and LSU, the dynamic Jeudy will play a starring role. He, as Tagovailoa's big play threat, will look to stretch the field against a unit that ranks in the top five in the country in opposing quarterback rating. All-American candidates Greedy Williams at cornerback and Grant Delpit at safety lead, perhaps, college football's best secondary. In recent games against nationally-ranked Mississippi State, Georgia and Florida and high-flying Ole Miss, the Tigers allowed a total of just two passing touchdowns.

Jeudy enters November with 31 receptions for 777 yards and ten touchdowns. His impact goes beyond even those remarkable measures. The Crimson Tide have the nation's most-dynamic home-run hitter, a, by the numbers, all-time addition to an already elite attack. While Jeudy makes the most of his chances, he creates opportunities for everyone else.   

As the Alabama offense puts up historic numbers, Jeudy, like no player before him, is doing his part downfield.

BJ Bennett - B.J. Bennett is SouthernPigskin.com's founder and publisher. He is the co-host of "Three & Out" with Kevin Thomas and Ben Troupe on the "Southern Pigskin Radio Network". Email: bj@espncoastal.com / Twitter: @BJBennettSports