GA News: OnlineAthens - Alabama's Calvin Ridley says brother Riley at UGA 'just as good as me,

TideFans Reporter

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Sep 21, 2006
October 7th, 2016 11:20 AM

The Fort Lauderdale Jaguars 90-pound youth football team was rather stacked when the Ridley brothers were in elementary school in South Florida.
Nobody could have known at the time that Calvin and Riley Ridley would blossom into wide receivers in the SEC.
“We had a lot of fun,” Calvin Ridley remembered this week.
Calvin is an established sophomore star at defending national champion Alabama. Riley is a raw freshman with upside for Georgia.
Riley Ridley introduced himself to the college football world by hauling in a 47-yard touchdown pass last Saturday from Jacob Eason with 10 seconds to go to give Georgia what looked like the winning score against Tennessee until it was topped by a Volunteers’ Hail Mary.
“One thing about Riley, he’s a kid that works very hard, physical, I expect that play from him and he made it,” Georgia safety Dominick Sanders said.
Calvin Ridley didn’t see his brother’s big catch because Alabama kicked off at 7 p.m. ET against Kentucky, but saw the highlight of the play.
“I was pretty happy about it,” he said. “They didn’t get the win though.”
Their mother, Kassna Daniels, saw it because she was in Sanford Stadium.
Calvin had a monster game himself with 11 catches for 174 yards and two touchdowns in a 34-6 win. Calvin is 19 months older than Riley.
“They both love football,” said Georgia first-year coach Kirby Smart, the former Alabama defensive coordinator. “Their love for the game and passion for the game, they’re always smiling. It’s like there’s never a bad day on the practice field because they’re just happy to be out there.”
Riley, 6-foot-2 and 195 pounds, is more physical, likes contact more and likes to hit people on special teams, according to Smart. The 6-1, 188-pound Calvin is probably faster, Smart said.
Calvin set an Alabama freshmen record last year with 1,045 receiving yards on a team-leading 89 catches. He is second in the SEC this season with 31 catches for 398 yards and three touchdowns.
Riley Ridley--whose first name is Cavin but goes by his middle name--could have been playing against Georgia in this weekend’s game for South Carolina.
He committed to the Gamecocks at the Under Armour game but decommitted two days later and ended up taking a surprise January visit to Athens while Smart was finishing out coaching the Crimson Tide in the college playoff. Ridley enrolled at Georgia out of Deerfield Beach High.
“It was a deal where it was really close to school starting,” Smart said. “It was a really quick turnout. It was a deal that we had some people that knew him. He had reached out. We knew his brother. His brother came to me and said he really wanted to come to Georgia. I said `absolutely, we’d like to take him.’ The connection came through his brother and I and also (wide receivers coach and former Miami offensive coordinator James) Coley who knew him too.”
Calvin Ridley said his brother’s decision was made by Riley and his mother.
“That was up to him,” said Calvin, a teammate of Riley’s at Monarch High in Coconut Creek, Fla. “I didn’t really have anything to do with it. I guess he was just trying to find somewhere he liked.”
Sanders goes up against Riley Ridley in practice and saw Calvin Ridley up close last season when he had five catches for 120 yards and a touchdown against Georgia.
“Both of them are pretty hard workers,” Sanders said. “Calvin is an excellent player also, the same way, explosive, makes good plays. And his brother is the same that way. One thing I can say is his brother is a player that never quits, he goes hard on and off the field.”
Riley Ridley also had a 12-yard catch Saturday, making those his first two college catches. He missed the Missouri game after breaking a bone in his thumb.
“He was working hard, he just came off an injury,” Calvin said. “I hope he is (breaking out). Whatever his team has planned for him then it’s great.”
Riley was not available for this story because Smart does not allow freshmen to be interviewed.
As for those comparison’s Calvin says his brother stacks up with him.
“He’s pretty good, just as good as me,” he said. “For him, I think he’s still learning. He’s just got to learn. When he starts to figure things out, he’ll be a lot better.”


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