With just a few hours until the College Football Playoff national championship, Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide still await the final status of star wide receiver Jaylen Waddle.
It looks like Alabama fans will have to wait just a little bit longer.
As of Monday afternoon, Waddles appears ready to go for the national title game, but an official decision won’t be made until “after pre-game warmups”, per Alabama insider Matt Zenitz. Following his pre-game routine, the star wideout will meet with his family and the necessary Crimson Tide personnel to make a decision.
The national championship bout would mark Waddle’s first game back from a gruesome early-season injury. The junior wide-receiver broke his ankle during the opening kick-off of Alabama’s game against Tennessee on Oct. 24.
An update on Jaylen Waddle, per sources:
Seems likely that he plays tonight but a final determination won’t be made until after pre-game warmups. After warm-ups, Waddle, his family and Alabama will meet and make a final decision.https://t.co/t5cBk2WUnc
— Matt Zenitz (@mzenitz) January 11, 2021
Following the diagnosis of the injury, many thought that Waddle’s collegiate career would be over. However, the 22-year-old focused on rehab following a surgery, with the intention of returning this postseason. He came back to practice just earlier this week.
Adding Waddle to an already dynamic Alabama offense should frighten Ryan Day and Ohio State. The 2019 first-team All-SEC receiver still put up impressive numbers in 2020, despite his shortened season. In just four games, Waddle racked up 25 catches for 557 yards and four touchdowns. He also proves to be an electric special teams piece, with three return scores since arriving in Tuscaloosa.
Pending any pre-game change, Waddle will now get the chance to re-join Heisman Trophy winner DeVonta Smith in Alabama’s receiving corps. The duo will get the chance to play together for the final time with quarterback Mac Jones, before they likely opt for next year’s NFL draft.
The Ohio State secondary better bring its best stuff if the Buckeyes hope to keep pace on Monday night.
The College Football Playoff national championship between Alabama and Ohio State will kick-off just after 8 p.m. ET. The game will air on ESPN.
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