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Jaylen Waddle Named SEC Special Teams Player of the Year

The current group of Alabama Crimson Tide wide receivers are considered one of the best ever assembled. Reigning Biletnikoff Award winner Jerry Jeudy will likely be the first receiver taken in the 2019 NFL Draft, while DeVonta Smith and Henry Ruggs III will both play on Sundays. All three of those guys have hauled in at least 1,600 receiving yards and 20 touchdowns catches during their college careers, but the "fourth wheel" of that group might be the most dangerous.

Alabama wide receiver Jaylen Waddle is only a true sophomore, but his impact is felt every time he touches the field. The Houston, Texas native is as dynamic as they come, and he's taking home more hardware after another electric college football season.

The reigning SEC Freshman of the Year earned First-Team All-SEC honors from the Associated Press as a sophomore and was named SEC Special Teams Player of the Year in 2019.

SEC Special Teams POTY: Alabama's Jaylen Waddle

Aside from his 17.3 yards per reception and six receiving touchdowns, Waddle finished the regular season as the top punter returner in the nation. Waddle posted an FBS-leading 24.9-yard punt return average, and he shined in Alabama's biggest games. Waddle took a 77-yard punt to the house against LSU, then he had a 98-yard kickoff return touchdown against Auburn, one of four total scores in that Iron Bowl loss.

RELATED: Auburn QB Bo Nix Named SEC Freshman of the Year

Waddle was named SEC Special Teams Player of the Week twice this season, including after his 128 punt return yards against Texas A&M, which was the third-highest single game total in University of Alabama football history.

Despite only four kickoff return opportunities this year for Nick Saban, Waddle's 626 combined return yards led the SEC and ranked 21st in the nation.

Waddle is the first non-kicker/punter to win the award since Tennessee's Evan Berry in 2015.

SEC Special Teams Player of the Year History

2018: Braden Mann, Texas A&M
2017: Daniel Carlson, Auburn
2016: Daniel Carlson, Auburn
2015: Evan Berry, Tennessee
2014: Marcus Murphy, Missouri
2013: Christion Jones, Alabama
2012: Caleb Sturgis, Florida and Ace Sanders, South Carolina
2009: Javier Arenas, Alabama
2008: Brandon James, Florida
2007: Felix Jones, Arkansas
2006: John Vaughn, Auburn
2005: Skyler Green, LSU
2004: Carnell Williams, Auburn

Unsurprisingly, LSU's Joe Burrow was named the Southeastern Conference's Offensive Player of the Year. Auburn teammates Derrick Brown and Bo Nix took home Defensive Player of the Year and Freshman of the Year honors, respectively. The Georgia duo of Andrew Thomas (Jacobs Blocking Trophy) and Rodrigo Blankenship (Scholar-Athlete of the Year) were honored, and LSU head coach Ed Orgeron was named SEC Coach of the Year.

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