Alabama football fans celebrate championship with huge street party in Tuscaloosa
Calvin Ridley has seen the pinnacle of success during his three years at Alabama. The wide receiver has won two national championships and two Southeastern Conference titles in that span, serving as a key cog to the Crimson Tide’s offensive success.
Now, the Coconut Creek Monarch High alumnus is ready to make the jump to the NFL.
Ridley announced Wednesday on Twitter that he will forgo his senior year and declare for the 2018 NFL Draft. Most mock drafts peg Ridley as a first-round draft pick.
“Having been thoroughly prepared for that next step, I am truly ready, because in the beginning, I chose THE RIGHT SCHOOL,” Ridley wrote. “Coach [Nick] Saban and his entire staff of caring experts and professionals have created a culture of winning, and forged an unprecedented legacy for this program.”
In just three seasons, Ridley made a lasting impact on Alabama’s record book. He finished his college career ranked second in school history in receptions (224), second in receiving touchdowns (19), and third in receiving yards (2,781). He recorded a catch in all 44 games of his career. His numbers rivaled former Alabama greats Amari Cooper and Julio Jones, both of whom were first-round selections in the NFL Draft.
None of those catches might have been bigger than his fourth-quarter touchdown catch in Monday’s 26-23 national championship game win over Georgia. With 3:49 left to play and the Crimson Tide down by a touchdown, Ridley caught a 7-yard pass from freshman quarterback Tua Tagovailoa on fourth down to tie the score and force overtime, during which the Crimson Tide clinched their second championship in three years.
Ridley has a chance to build on his successes from the college level when he gets to the NFL, much like Cooper and Jones.
And while his time at Alabama is over, Ridley still has high hopes for his alma mater that has won five national championships during the last nine years.
“I know that those who come after me will take this program to even greater heights,” Ridley wrote. “The future of this program is indeed in great hands.”