The preseason honors continue to roll in for Alabama football stars Calvin Ridley and Minkah Fitzpatrick.
Ridley is among 45 candidates from around the country named to the Biletnikoff Award watch list. Amari Cooper is Alabama’s lone winner, bringing home the award in 2014.
The award, named after former Florida State and Oakland Raiders receiver Fred Biletnikoff, goes to the nation’s top wideout. The 2017 winner will be announced in December.
Fitzpatrick, a safety, is among 109 candidates named to the Wuerffel Trophy watch list. Barrett Jones is Alabama’s only Wuerffel honoree (2011).
The award, named for former Florida quarterback Danny Wuerffel, is awarded to the FBS player who best combines exemplary community service with athletic and academic achievement. This year’s winner will be recognized at a banquet on Feb. 16 in Fort Walton Beach.
Ridley had 72 catches for 769 yards and 7 touchdowns as a sophomore. Thirty-nine of his receptions went for a first down or a touchdown, and he had 21 receptions of 15 yards or more to lead the Tide last season. As a freshman in 2015, the Fort Lauderdale, Fla., native set Alabama freshman records for receptions (89) and receiving yards (1,045). Ridley has made at least 5 catches in 20 of his 30 career games with the Tide and already ranks in the Alabama career top-10 in receptions (161), touchdown receptions (14) and receiving yards (1,814).
Fitzpatrick has been a team leader in the community and on campus. He has given his time to several groups in his two years with the football program, including the YMCA, TAP, Inc., and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, mentoring at-risk youth in the Tuscaloosa area. Most recently, he spent his spring break with a group of Alabama student-athletes as part of a mission trip that did relief work in San Jose, Costa Rica. On the field, Fitzpatrick has emerged as the leader of the Crimson Tide secondary after a pair of standout seasons in his first two years in Tuscaloosa. He has returned 4 interceptions for touchdowns during his career to set the Alabama all-time mark for pick-sixes.