TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — From Amari Cooper to Calvin Ridley and now Jerry Jeudy, Alabama football has had an impressive recent run of talented wide receivers out of South Florida.
In 2012, Cooper broke Alabama’s freshman record for receiving yards which later was toppled by Ridley, who racked up 1,045 yards in 2015. Now, Ridley wants Jeudy to top his rookie mark.
“Yeah, I do. I want him to break it,” Ridley said. “That’s my boy.”
Cooper and Ridley never got the chance to play together as Cooper jumped to the NFL after a junior season that saw him win the Biletnikoff Award and finish third in the Heisman Trophy race.
Cooper was selected fourth overall by the Oakland Raiders, and currently is shredding NFL defenses the same way he did in college.
Ridley and Jeudy will have at least one year on the field together. Ridley, a rising junior, likely will be one of the top prospects for the 2018 draft, but Crimson Tide fans get to enjoy him this season.
Ridley has caught 161 passes for 1,814 yards and 14 touchdowns through his two years in Tuscaloosa.
Like Ridley, Jeudy arrived as a 5-star prospect according to the 247Sports Composite rankings.
Jeudy caught 76 passes for 1,054 yards and 15 touchdowns as a senior in 2016 after grabbing 41 passes for 500 yards and 10 touchdowns as a junior in 2015.
The two have known each other since they were kids. Ridley played little league football with Jeudy’s older brother. Ridley and Jeudy were high school teammates at Monarch (Fla.) High School.
“I think Jerry is like me when I first got here. He’s really good,” Ridley said. “He’s just complete. He’s a full receiver.”
There’ll be opportunities for Jeudy to earn early playing time as a true freshman. With ArDarius Stewart moving on, Alabama is looking for receivers to step up.
Ridley will be there to lead his friend and the rest of the receiver group this season.
“I would say I’m now the leader the wide receiver group,” Ridley said. “I want to take that role on and not only to my group but my team, and be one of the captains on the team. That’s what I feel like I need to do.”