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Alabama WR ArDarius Stewart with career-high numbers against Southern California

Alabama wide receiver ArDarius Stewart (No. 13) catches TD pass against Southern California: Jerome Miron - USA TODAY Sports

He’s elevated his game from solid athlete to a premiere wide receiver.

With Calvin Ridley drawing all attention from Southern California’s secondary, ArDarius Stewart took it upon himself to settle true freshman quarterback Jalen Hurts into the action.

He kicked off the season by having his first career 100-yard outing, totaling four catches for 113 yards and two touchdowns at AT&T Stadium. The 6-foot-1, 204-pound junior victimized USC’s defense in the second quarter, as he got behind its secondary for a 39-yard touchdown grab.

While the first connection from Hurts to Stewart got Alabama on the scoreboard, the second one began an onslaught that ended in frustration for the Trojans. Hurts was able to read an all out blitz and instead of panicking, he flipped the ball to Stewart—who raced for a 71-yard touchdown.

College football analyst Phil Steele listed Stewart at No. 16 in his top 53 draft eligible receivers for 2017. His average of 28.3 yards per catch in the Crimson Tide’s 52-6 win makes it worthwhile.

Stephen M. Smith is a senior analyst and columnist for Touchdown Alabama MagazineYou can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @Smsmith_TDALMag.

Stephen Smith is a 2015 graduate of the University of Alabama. He is a senior writer and reporter for Touchdown Alabama Magazine. He has covered Alabama football for 10+ years and his knowledge and coverage of the Crimson Tide's program have made him among the most respected journalist in his field. Smith has been featured on ESPN and several other marquee outlets as an analyst.

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