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#CFBTop25: No. 15, Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama

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Alabama didn't miss a beat at wide receiver after the departure of Oakland Raiders 2015 first-round pick Amari Cooper. Calvin Ridley -- a top-rated receiver recruit out of high school -- stepped up to fill the void.

CFB 24/7 is marking the days to the start of the 2016 season by counting down the top 25 players in college football.

Ridley set Alabama freshman records with his 89 catches for 1,045 yards (the receptions total was also an SEC freshman record and the second-most ever for a true freshman at the FBS level). Ridley's outstanding freshman season landed the receiver on the 2016 preseason watch lists for the Biletnikoff and Maxwell awards.

Pulling back the curtain on the vote

Ridley earned votes from six of seven CFB 24/7 experts. Ridley rates at No. 2 in NFL Media draft analyst Lance Zierlein's ranking of the top 15 true sophomores in college football.

What some of our analysts are saying about Ridley

"Ridley has easy speed and he tracks the ball naturally down the field. Lane Kiffin loves to feature one offensive player each year. It should be Ridley's turn this fall." -- Daniel Jeremiah

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"Burst onto the scene as a freshman, but played like a veteran almost from his first snap. The stage was never too big for him, and he carried the mantle of being a 'No. 1 WR' quite well." -- Charles Davis

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"After capably filling Amari Cooper's role as the Tide's WR1 as a freshman, Ridley could emerge as the nation's best WR in his second season. As a polished route runner with big hands and electric running skills, Ridley is an unstoppable force on the perimeter." -- Bucky Brooks

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"Florida's Jalen Tabor held a Q&A on Twitter in lieu of a trip to SEC Media Days. When he was asked to name the toughest SEC WR to cover, he said Ridley." -- Lance Zierlein

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"A fluid receiver with excellent hands and the vertical to win 50/50 balls, Ridley is the No. 1 receiver Nick Saban needs to fuel an inexperienced offense in 2016." -- Chad Reuter

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"Ridley admirably filled a huge void left by Amari Cooper with a 1,000-yard season. What's remarkable is that he did it as a freshman, and with a first-year quarterback, and in a run-first offense." -- Chase Goodbread

Where do fans rank Ridley?

We asked Twitter users who they considered the best player in college football. On a talent-laden, national-championship Alabama team, the freshman Ridley managed to stand out to fans, who voted the receiver as the 14th-best player in college football for 2016.

Follow College Football 24/7 on Twitter @NFL_CFB.



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