Last week, I got the opportunity to interview Texas A&M TE- Jalen Wydermyer. This is his story. *Interview was done over Instagram DM
What if I told you, a Tight End started the season as the third string option, and ended the season as an All-SEC second team selection, and a freshman All-American. Would you believe me? In order to look at how this came to be, we need to start at the beginning.
In Wydermyer’s senior year at Dickinson High, he recorded 42 catches for 875 yards with 10 touchdowns. He was named the District 24-6A Offensive MVP in 2018. Wydermyer was a 4-star recruit, and received more than 20 offers in his High School football career from programs like Alabama, LSU, Georgia, Ohio State, and more. He ultimately chose Texas A&M. “I was pretty happy with my recruiting and blessed to get so many offers. Texas A&M showed me around campus, showed me everything they have to offer and showed me what they can do with me in the offense and the Aggie network. They showed me all of this on my official visit. That’s what impressed me and I committed after that visit.”
Wydermyer wasn’t the only Tight End that committed to Texas A&M that year. Baylor Cupp, the number one Tight End in the Class of 2018, also committed. He was the third highest commit in Texas A&M’s 2018 recruiting class. With Cupp and returning Aggie Glenn Beal, Wydermyer was looking at a third string spot going into his freshman season.
Jalen’s opportunity to start came very fast, as Cupp went down in preseason. Head Coach Jimbo Fisher announced he would miss the entire year after undergoing surgery for a broken leg. Wydermyer and Beal would battle it out for the starting job in the 2019-20 season. During this incident, he said, “Things that we’re going through my head we’re panic, because I didn’t know if I was ready. As well as excitement for the opportunity to play.” He started getting the majority of the snaps by his second game against #1 ranked Clemson. Wydermyer scored the only touchdown for the Aggies that game, which was a two yard pass in the fourth quarter. From that game on, Wydermyer secured the first string job and never looked back.
Wydermyer proceeded to play every game for the rest of the season, and matched up against some of the best competition that College Football has to offer. Some notable games included Alabama, Ole Miss, South Carolina, Georgia, and LSU. When I asked Jalen what his favorite regular season game was, he said, “My favorite game to play was Georgia. It was raining, it was wet, I had no gloves on, and it was a hard fought tough game that came down to the wire. I hated the outcome but it was a great game to watch.”
Wydermyer and Texas A&M finished the season with an 8-5 record. Their last game of the year was against 25th ranked OKSU in the Academy Sports + Outdoors Texas Bowl, in which they won 24-21. Wydermyer caught one pass for 28 yards in the win. ”My first bowl game was amazing. I had so much fun. That game also came down to the wire, my family friends and high school classmates were there and it was an honor to play in front of them in NRG stadium.”
Jalen was vital to the Aggies success last season, as he had the most receiving touchdowns on the team with six. His efforts would not go unnoticed, as he received multiple accolades. Wydermyer was named to the Freshman All-America Team by USA Today, 247 Sports, and PFF. He was an All-SEC Second Team selection, and won Offensive Top Newcomer at the Texas A&M team banquet. “The one I am the most proud of would be the 2nd Team All-SEC award. It puts me up there with some of the best players in college football, having my name next to some of them is a true honor.”
Wydermyer will return for his sophomore year in the upcoming 2020-21 season. Texas A&M has been highly ranked in most Preseason Top 25 predictions from sites like 247, Athlon, NCAA, etc. This will be the last season of the Mond-Wydermyer connection, as the QB is heading into his junior year with draft eligibility. There is no doubt the Aggies will be a team to watch this year as they are young, and exciting. I asked Jalen, “After a great freshman year, you have set the bar high for yourself for the upcoming sophomore season. What are some things about your game that you’re looking to improve on from last year, and what can people expect in store from Texas A&M football in the 2020-21 season?” He said, “I want to improve my blocking. It got better as the year went on but you can never stop getting better. I’ve been working through this pandemic getting my body right, getting my mind right, and tweaking every little thing I do. I’m ready for this season. I can’t wait and it’s gonna be a movie. “
Big thanks to Jalen for doing the interview
Photo: Alex Miller/Dallas Morning News