It’s a well-known rule in the Alabama media room: Don’t ask Nick Saban to make comparisons between players.
The coach usually shies away from that type of thing.
We say “usually,” because he let one slip while discussing freshman wide receiver Calvin Ridley during his Thursday night radio show.
Saban said he knew Ridley was a great player before he enrolled.
“We had him in camp a year ago,” Saban said. “Kind of like Amari Cooper.”
He added that Ridley (22 catches for 245 yards and two touchdowns) has been a big help after star receiver Robert Foster went down against Ole Miss.
“You talk about a mature young man that — for a freshman — really prepares well, pays attention to detail, really tries to do things the right way, which is usually the biggest issue when you have young guys that play,” Saban said. “They don’t have the maturity to be able to hang in there and pay attention to detail and realize the importance of all that. And he does that, and he does it really well.”
Host Eli Gold noted that Ridley was Alabama’s first freshman to crack the 100-yard receiving mark in a game since Cooper, who did it against Notre Dame in the 2012 national championship.
The current Oakland Raiders receiver finished his Alabama career with school records for receptions (229), receiving yards (3,463) and receiving touchdowns (31).