Checking in at 6-foot-5, 245 pounds, 2023 5-star defensive lineman Jayden Wayne has the elite athleticism it takes to end up being one the best defensive players in college football. With offers from the likes of Alabama, Georgia, and LSU, among many others, Wayne looks like a prime-time SEC recruit, but he has offers all over the country.
Wayne recently discussed with Sportscasting how things are going for him on the recruiting trail, taking some time to specifically talk about the Crimson Tide and Bulldogs.
According to the 247Sports Composite Rankings, Wayne is the No. 1 recruit from the state of Washington. Even more impressive, he’s ranked as the fourth-best defensive lineman in the nation and the 30th-best player overall.
Wayne is an elite athlete. You don’t just end up in the top 30 of high school players nationwide by luck. Even so, he still has to find time to be a student, be a high-schooler, and just be a person.
That can be easier said than done, but he does have a great support system around him.
“It’s a lot sometimes,” Wayne admitted. “I try to answer coaches after school. My parents help me a lot with trips and my training schedules. I go to school with my brother and sister, so we stick together a lot.”
Notably, Wayne already knows that he wants to graduate in three years. Who knows what the future holds, but based on his skill set and profile, the NFL could come calling after that.
He boasts about his 3.5 GPA publicly, so the actual “college” part of being a college football player is also important to him. To that point, he’s already thinking about what he wants to study.
Business and sports marketing are both options.
Wayne has offers from all over the country
He goes to Lincoln High School in Tacoma, Washington, but Wayne sure looks like the type of recruit who would fit right onto an SEC football roster. He has plenty of opportunities to play SEC ball, as well. Notably, he has offers from Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide, Kirby Smart and the Bulldogs, and Brian Kelly and the LSU Tigers.
On a list of 42 offers, compiled by 247Sports, other notable SEC offers include Auburn, Florida, Arkansas, and Kentucky. But again, this is a player who has his pick of schools all throughout the country in just about every conference.
In a recent tweet that declared his recruitment “100%” open,” Wayne highlighted schools like Michigan State, Texas, USC, Auburn, and Georgia. He also has offers from both in-state schools, Washington and Washington State.
Wayne specifically mentioned Alabama, Miami, Oregon, USC, LSU, and Georgia when asked by Sportscasting which schools he currently likes the most. However, he did make it known that he’s still “talking to some others.”
Wayne Dishes on Georgia Bulldogs, Nick Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide
With Georgia mentioned as a school he’s considering, the conversation naturally moved to the Bulldogs. Not only did Georgia beat Alabama in the College Football Playoff National Championship, but several Bulldogs turned heads at the recent 2022 NFL Combine.
Wayne told Sportscasting that Georgia’s success makes the Bulldogs more appealing. It’s undoubtedly a factor he’s considering on the recruiting trail.
It’s also just the culture of Georgia football.
“The brotherhood there is crazy. They love football,” Wayne said.
Alabama is always in the running for top-end recruits nationally, and it’s no different with Wayne.
The big defender has been to Alabama on a visit, and he did get a chance to speak with Nick Saban. Twice, actually.
His impression of the seven-time national championship-winning head coach?
“He’s very direct and doesn’t smile much,” Wayne said, to no one’s surprise. “He’s very organized and runs everything like the NFL. That’s why he wins, and he’s the GOAT.
“He goes hard for his players.”
With so many offers on the table, the 5-star defender does at least know what he’s looking for, which will help him as he looks to narrow down his list.
He tells Sportscasting that while the opportunity to play and be developed as a football player is essential, he’s ultimatly hunting for the biggest prize in the game.
“I want to win a Natty,” he said.
That should put Alabama right at the top of his list when all is said and done. The same goes for Georiga.
No matter where he ends up, though, Wayne feels he’ll be a difference-maker because of his combination of speed and power.
He tries to model his game after Myles Garrett and Kayvon Thibodeaux, and while he is still taking time to work on his technique and strength over the summer, he does know what he brings to the table.
“I’m a different person on the field. I’m strong, fast, and relentless, he said. “I love to hit, and I want to win.”
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