With LSU finding it’s speed demon in JoJo Earle, the state of Texas standout brings specific traits to the bayou that simply cannot be taught.
In basketball, height will always be a sought after trait. Rightfully so. It helps in football as well. Do not tell that to JoJo Earle of Aledo (Texas) High School. The electric slot wide receiver may only be 5-foot-9, 175-pounds, or maybe a little less, but he’s so explosive it probably does not matter.
As a rule, I really like to break down film and discuss specific clips because they show subtle changes in a recruit’s playing style. With Earle, however, it’s really about three things. It’s not hard to distinguish what he does well.
First, his second-level speed is first rate. Even when defenders possess the better angle, and sometimes five yards ahead, Earle blows by that defender. He’s truly a blazer.
That’s why Earle plays so well in the slot. If a defensive back or linebacker does not ‘carry’ him to the safety before letting him go in zone coverage, that poor safety will be one-on-one with a speeding bullet.
Earle can score a touchdown on a simple end-around by beating multiple defenders with his sheer speed. It’s something that cannot be taught within itself. He’s just one of those fast players that every defensive coordinator worries about. There’s another way to look at it, once Earle reaches Baton Rouge.
Few teams will likely play LSU’s talented wide receivers in man coverage, and adding Earle to the roster only accelerates that notion. Literally and figuratively.
Second, multiple times it appeared as if Earle would be swallowed up by a defender because of a late pass towards the sideline or other tough position with no place to escape. Do not feel sorry for Earle. Feel sorry for the defender that just had his ankles broken.
One of the quickest side-to-side playmakers in the country, Earle explodes vertically, stops, accelerates laterally a few steps, then it’s back up field. He is as gifted a slot wide receiver as one will find when it comes to making defenders miss in tight quarters.
Third, and this is a big one, toughness. He’s not a big fella. Therefore, it would not be surprising if Earle generally avoided contact. That’s not his style.
Whether it’s running Wildcat during a sweep, taking a middle screen with linebackers surrounding him, or running back across the field during a return, Earle does not worry himself about being hit.
He’s a really tough football player. Perhaps that’s why Earle continues to do well as a punt return man. It’s not easy to make multiple defenders miss, but that’s the job of any punt return man. Earle does it with ease.
Here are the full Hudl highlights of Earle. It’s a blast to watch. Make sure you watch it all the way through. Earle will catch your attention time and again. LSU is getting a good one out of Texas.