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Alabama Football Impact Players

Could Jerry Jeudy’s career end up better than Calvin Ridley’s at Alabama?

Reihold Matay - USA TODAY Sports

Not a single wide receiver from the University of Alabama program was named a candidate for the Fred Biletnikoff preseason award watch list in the summer; however, a former five-star prospect is about to put his name in the conversation as conference play begins on Saturday. 

Jerry Jeudy’s commitment to getting stronger during the offseason program is evident when you look at his arms and noticed how he has gone from weight 180 to 192, but that is not the lone thing he focused on.

The sophomore trusts first-year wide receivers coach Josh Gattis, and with him the team has witnessed the Florida native work harder than at any other point in his career. 

After enduring times of frustration in 2017, the third big-time receiver from the sunshine state chosen by the Tide has already made an impact through two games. Jeudy has over half his receptions from last season (14), while doubling his touchdowns with four.  

He’s averaged nearly 19 yards per catch and is second behind Devonta Smith, another sophomore wide out, in receiving yards with 151. With Jacob Coker at quarterback in 2015 for Alabama, Calvin Ridley had a huge freshman year as he totaled 1,045 yards and seven scores. 

The creation of scoring opportunities for Ridley via offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin made it unfair for defenses to compete against the Tide. Alabama fans are starting to see the same things with Tua Tagovailoa at quarterback and Michael Locksley calling plays in setting Jeudy up for success.

Whether he has lined up on either the outside or in the slot, Locksley has found ways to get Jeudy open in space for touchdowns or chunk plays on scoring drives. 

 

 

Former Alabama star Amari Cooper made an appearance on ESPN’s First Take a couple years back and said that Ridley would have a better career than he did at Alabama. Despite him being an exceptional talent, Ridley’s career may end up taking a back seat to Jeudy’s. Should he continue to mature, the 6-foot-1 specimen is heading for major awards in the future.

Stephen M. Smith is the managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @CoachingMSmith.

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