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Calvin Ridley of the Atlanta Falcons ‘hungry’ to show he’s easily a 1,000-yard NFL wide receiver

Calvin Ridley of the Atlanta Falcons scores a TD versus Carolina Panthers in 2019 season
Jason Getz - USA Today Sports

Even with him playing alongside Julio Jones, Calvin Ridley always has a mentality of being the No. 1 wide receiver.

He possessed it at Monarch High School (Coconut Creek, Fla.) as a five-star recruit, and it traveled with him to the University of Alabama in the 2015 signing class. As he enters his third season in the National Football League with the Atlanta Falcons, Ridley has one message for everyone: he is hungry to prove that he’s easily a 1,000-yard target at the professional level.

In an interview with Vaughn McClure of ESPN, Ridley said the game has slowed down for him in the NFL.

After he was selected in the first round (No. 26 overall) of the 2018 NFL Draft, Ridley’s first two seasons were strong as he collected 127 receptions for 1,687 yards and 17 touchdowns.

He caught 63 passes in the 2019 campaign for 866 yards with seven scores on an average of 13.7 yards per reception. On the heels of making the NFL’s All-Rookie Team via Pro Football Writers Association in 2018, he recorded two 100-yard performances last year.

The 6-foot-1, 190-pounder has been training all summer and looks to help the Falcons win in every way he can.

RELATED: Derrick Henry named Alabama Pro Athlete of the Year

Prior to the NFL, Ridley was a two-time Southeastern Conference Champion (2015-16) and two-time College Football Playoff National Champion (2015, 2017) with the Crimson Tide.

He was a Freshman All-American per USA Today in 2015, following a season where he totaled 1,045 yards receiving with seven touchdowns on 89 catches. Ridley made first-team All-SEC in 2017 and caught one of three scoring passes from Tua Tagovailoa in the 2018 CFP title matchup versus the Georgia Bulldogs at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

He finished his career at Alabama ranking second for receptions (224), third for receiving yards (2,781) and fifth in touchdown catches (19).

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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.

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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