Ohio State DC Kerry Coombs: Buckeyes are 'preparing' for Jaylen Waddle to play in National Championship
Ohio State already had a major test against the explosive Alabama offense upcoming in Monday’s national championship game. However, now that another weapon appears possible to be cleared, the Buckeyes’ defense will have to be even more on alert.
Alabama wide receiver Jaylen Waddle returned to practice on Tuesday for the first time since sustaining a right ankle fracture vs. Tennessee on Oct. 24. Waddle’s teammates were impressed with his performance in practice, according to the New York Post.
While it’s not official yet that Waddle will play, Ohio State defensive coordinator Kerry Coombs told the media on Wednesday that his unit intends to prepare as if that’ll be the case.
Coombs raved about the capabilities of the dynamic junior wide receiver.
Kerry Coombs on #RollTide WR Jaylen Waddle: “You absolutely have to prepare like he’s going to play. He’s an extraordinary athlete, an extraordinary receiver. … He’s a special player.”
— Adam Rittenberg (@ESPNRittenberg) January 6, 2021
Waddle has tallied 25 receptions and 4 touchdowns this season. Alabama coach Nick Saban previously announced Waddle was out for the year after the Tennessee game.
If Ohio State is going to win its first national title since 2014, they’ll have to slow down a high-octane Alabama offense featuring five All-Americans, anchored by Heisman Trophy wide receiver DeVonta Smith. Alabama has scored over 30 points in every game this season.
Meanwhile, the Ohio State defense has only allowed over 30 points in just one game this season, which came in a 42-35 victory vs. Indiana.