It isn’t a mystery why Alabama is so good right now. Three receivers with elite speed can take the top off of any defense in the country, opening things up for the rest of the offensive attack. It puts a ton of stress on your secondary, while softening things up in the middle and short game And if you fall asleep, they can go right over the top.
Saturday didn’t go well for Tennessee, but at least the Volunteers did figure out one thing. Jalin Hyatt might be their version of Jaylen Waddle/DeVonta Smith.
The true freshman receiver finally got a chance to show his speed on Saturday, making two big plays that frankly provided the only fireworks of the game for Tennessee.
It’s something that makes you wonder why Hyatt hasn’t played more to this point, considering his skill set against the rest of the Tennessee receivers. Watch Hyatt (running from the slot) just blow by an Alabama cornerback here.
Why not more of this during the game? Hyatt beat his man way too often. pic.twitter.com/20jHEFR6KR— CHANNEL TN (@CHANNEL_TN_) October 25, 2020
This deserves another look. #HardeesHighlight@Hardees pic.twitter.com/bQNOPe50Xp— Vol Network (@VolNetwork) October 24, 2020
Hyatt followed that up with another big play down the sidelines and should have scored again, but was ruled out. He may have been robbed of a two touchdown performance in his first game against Alabama.
He finished the day with 2 catches for 86 yards and a touchdown.
“I’ve said all along that I’m excited about these young wide receivers,” Jeremy Pruitt said after the game. “These guys are fast. They’ve got instincts to play the position. Jalin has got to practice more than the other three this fall camp. It’s about right. It’s the fifth game of the season and under the circumstances, it’s good to see him take that next step. Those guys guarding him are pretty good out there. He obviously had a really nice day. Those other guys have that same type of ability, but they’re going to have to get the same opportunities, by the number of practice reps, to get a chance to do that.”
Tennessee has a bye week to sort out a number of issues before heading to Arkansas on November 7th. At the halfway point of the season and sitting at 2-3, we should see Hyatt continue to emerge, maybe along with a couple of other young receivers as well.