18 for 18: Who will lead Alabama in receiving?
Alabama is set to take part in SEC Media Days on July 18, marking the unofficial start to the Crimson Tide’s 2018 season. Before head coach Nick Saban or any of the Alabama players take the podium at the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta, BamaInsider.com will pass the time counting down 18 important questions as the Crimson Tide looks to repeat as champions and claim an 18th national title this season.
Who will lead Alabama in receiving?
The succession of South Florida standouts at wide receiver was supposed to continue last season. Five-star Jerry Jeudy was tabbed by many as a candidate to break fellow South Florida receiver Calvin Ridley’s single-season freshman receiving record of 1,045 yards set in 2015 when he replaced Miami native Amari Cooper. Instead, it was Ridley who once again filled Alabama’s stat sheet.
While Jeudy finished second on the team in receiving with 264 yards, he ended the year with just 14 receptions — less than a fifth of what Ridley hauled in. In what was described as a “weird situation” by Ridley, the junior receiver ended up with 63 catches for 967 yards and five touchdowns and often seemed like the only target in quarterback Jalen Hurts’ sights.
“Some of the guys made comments when they would throw up the charts,” Ridley said during the College Football Playoff. “Everybody had five catches and I had, like, 50. It was just kinda weird, man. I wish we all had the same amount, but, you know, we won the championship and everybody was happy at the end.”
With Ridley now teaming up with former Crimson Tide great Julio Jones with the Atlanta Falcons, Alabama will be forced to find a new go-to guy for the coming season. While Jeudy enters the season as the favorite to take on that role, Alabama’s passing game figures to be far more diverse.
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