The Times examines the top prospects ahead of the NFL draft, which will be held April 23-25.
As a senior at Deerfield Beach Middle School, Jerry Jeudy was walking out of the field after leading his team to bed in the semifinals of the state of Florida when his brother, Terry, stopped him. He has something to tell Jerry that will shake it to the core – and shape everything that will come for a prominent recipient.
Aaliyah, their 7 year old sister, left.
Jerry had to prepare his entire life for now – Aaliyah was born with complications that made him unable to walk or talk – and the fact that he had lived for so long was a miracle. But Jerry passed out under heavy news and cried with his brother.
“I love you sis, you are in a better place now, I swear I will make it for you and mom,” Jeudy tweeted the next day.
Jeudy, a five-star recruit, was committed to Alabama when Aaliyah died. But he realized work had just begun. His second year in 2018, Jeudy won the Fred Biletnikoff Award as the best recipient in college football after capturing 68 passes for 1,315 yards and 14 goals.
His first year, Jeudy’s striking numbers suffered a little because of an injury that ended the season at Alabama midfielder Tagovailoa. With Crimson Tide heading for the Citrus Bowl and not the College Football Playoff, Jeudy could easily decide not to play to protect himself from injury before the NFL draft. Instead, he set fire to Michigan for 204 yards, won the Most Valuable Player award in the game and strengthened his position as recipient of No. 1 which is projected in a deep concept class.
“It’s really very demeaning, because it’s named after one of the top recipients in the class, among all these great recipients,” said Jeudy. “I don’t care where I am chosen, where I am chosen. I only know wherever I go, they will get the best from me. I will go out and compete, working hard every day to show them why I am the best. “
Jeudy was so dominant, so incomparable in Alabama that the draft analyst had decided to classify it as negative potential.
Pro Football Focus named Jeudy the top recipient but warned, “This guy is 193 pounds, six one, he’s a skinny man and he only has 24 opportunities contested in his entire college career. He will see more than that in his first year at the next level. He had to play through contact much more than he ever did in Alabama, and we just don’t know how he will survive. “
Of course, Jeudy’s original route was running and the ability to separate from the defenders – and then push those who were able to get close – was one of the reasons why he wasn’t contested so much.
Even so, Jeudy realized the next level would be different.
“I need to work with my strength,” said Jeudy. “In this league they have bigger defenders. I have to get out of the traffic and make the blocks I have to make. “
Jeudy runs his business calmly. He was not the one who created the drama even though there was a spotlight that followed him when he became a rookie star in South Florida.
But in NFL scouts join, he attracted attention for wearing a Star of David pendant on a necklace.
“My last name, Jeudy, people sometimes call me Jeu, like Jews,” Jeudy explained. “So I got a Jewish star. But I’m not Jewish. “
He then tweeted an apology to anyone who found him wearing the offensive locket.
For those who scrutinize the center opening of the star, the space is occupied by a faded picture of a little girl named Aaliyah.
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