Calvin Ridley commands consideration as one of America's most talented 2015 wide receiver prospects. The 6'2", 170-pound playmaker from Pompano Beach, Florida, provides Monarch High School with a premier scoring threat on every offensive possession.
He averaged 28 yards per reception in 2013, scoring 12 touchdowns in the process. Ridley caught 41 passes for 1,131 yards during a journey to the state playoffs.
His nationwide recruitment concluded in April with a commitment to Alabama. Nick Saban edged out more than 20 coaches who aimed to land Ridley.
Florida State, USC, Oklahoma, Auburn, Ohio State, Miami and Notre Dame are among the programs searching elsewhere after his pledge to the Crimson Tide. He committed to Alabama along with Monarch teammate Shawn Burgess-Becker.
Ridley, rated No. 4 nationally among receivers in 247Sports.com's composite rankings, is listed at No. 41 overall among all 2015 prospects.
His outstanding skill set and explosive downfield production create an opportunity for him to contribute early in college. We examined the game tape to develop a better understanding of what makes him such a special talent.
|Hometown||Pompano Beach, Florida|
|School||Monarch High School|
|Size||6'2", 170 lbs|
|Ranking||No. 4 WR; No. 41 overall nationally; No. 10 in state|
|Commitment||Alabama (April 19, 2014)|
Scouts love to highlight measurable qualities while dissecting prospects, but competitiveness isn't so easily quantifiable. Ridley is a fierce athlete who is clearly motivated to outwork opponents in every phase of the game.
He is assertive off the snap, delivering physicality at the line of scrimmage that leaves press coverage looking futile. Ridley races downfield and attacks his routes with tenacity and confidence.
His approach at the second level signals that he understands where to be at particular junctures of a play's progression. Ridley routinely high-points the football, using a formidable physical frame to shield space and come down with possession in traffic.
Ridley's physicality comes in part from his role in the defensive secondary. He lines up in the backfield, delivering blows when called upon to contribute on the other side of the ball.
Defenders struggle to tackle Ridley once he develops downfield momentum. He tends to shrug off the initial tackler before racing to pick up major chunks of yardage after contact.
Ridley provides his team with a multidimensional threat who is capable of inflicting damage on end-around rushing attempts and kick returns.
Ridley's aggressiveness doesn't always shine in the rushing attack. He reacts off the snap, but could maintain blocks downfield on a more consistent basis, opening lanes for his teammates out of the backfield.
While competing for playing time on a talent-packed roster like Alabama, players must establish any edge they can.
Ridley stands to improve as a run-blocker in an attack that routinely thrives with its ground assault.
His big-play ability constantly makes defensive backs looks silly in high school, but there are necessary strides required to carry that tendency to the next level. There are crucial adjustments to make in route-running technique that can ensure Ridley reaches the field early in Tuscaloosa.
The initial steps off the snap are solid, but Ridley will occasionally round off his route, allowing defenders a better opportunity to anticipate the pass. If he comes out of his breaks sharper with a powerful back-foot fire-off, it will set the stage for increased success against talented SEC secondaries.
What are your expectations for WR Calvin Ridley at Alabama?
Ridley has the talent to earn a role in the receiving corps during his first season on a college campus. If he can make the most of limited snaps, the door will open for him to compete for a starting job as a sophomore.
A strong opening training camp will go a long way to ensure Ridley is ready to compete as a true freshman. His first chance to crack the lineup could come on special teams as a returner.
Once he seizes a starting gig, Ridley is the kind of balanced receiver who would warrant early NFL draft consideration with a couple strong seasons in the SEC.
Recruit information courtesy of 247Sports.com.