The role of being Alabama’s primary receiver is earned, not given.
It is a crown that has been pass down for generations from legends like Ozzie Newsome and David Palmer to pure game changers in Julio Jones and Amari Cooper. Saturday witnessed a new face grab hold of the scepter, true freshman and Florida native Calvin Ridley.
He was simply dominant against Georgia.
Not even rain could stop Ridley’s hands, footwork and acceleration from affecting Georgia’s secondary. The freshman averaged a stunning 24.0 yards per catch at Sanford Stadium.
Crimson Tide’s senior quarterback Jacob Coker found him five times for 120 yards and a touchdown. The 6-foot, 188-pound Ridley burned Georgia’s defensive backs on a 45-yard touchdown reception in the second quarter. His efforts gave Alabama a 24-3 advantage.
Three of Ridley’s five receptions came on scoring drives for Alabama. He becomes the third Crimson Tide receiver since Cooper to total at least five catches, 90 yards and a touchdown against Georgia. Arkansas’ defensive backfield is now on alert for next week.
Stephen M. Smith is a senior analyst and columnist for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.