Calvin Ridley’s leaping grab on 4th-and-4 to tie the CFP Championship game late in the fourth quarter will forever go down as the one of the most important plays in Alabama Football history. His 1,045 yards and 7 touchdowns on 89 receptions as a freshman played a pivotal role in the Tide locking down their 16th national championship, too. His legacy, however, does not begin and end there. Instead, with everything he played a big part of, Ridley himself will go down as one of the most important players in Alabama Football history.
Though his receptions saw a decline between each of his three seasons – 89 in 2015, 72 in 2016, 63 in 2017 – his overall production and success on offense was key to the Tide’s ability to move the ball. In his three years in Tuscaloosa, Ridley caught 224 balls for 2,781 yards and 19 touchdowns.
He is projected to be a top-10 pick in April’s draft, due largely to a few standout skills: ability to make high-difficulty catches, ability to change speeds on a dime, and his overall speed and quickness. A lot of teams with the first ten picks are wide receiver hungry and Ridley is ranked as the top overall at the position. The San Francisco 49ers, for example, were apart of a blockbuster trade this season that landed them a potential future star at quarterback in Jimmy Garoppolo and – with a stud running back in Carlos Hyde – a star receiver could help them complete their transformation into a much more respected team.