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#CFBTop25: No. 18, Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama

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  • By NFL.com
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Brett Davis / USA TODAY Sports

Calvin Ridley earns his way into the #CFBTop25 countdown for the second consecutive year and is one of just four players to do so.

The junior is arguably college football's top wide receiver. NFL.com analyst Bucky Brooks has likened him to former Colts great Reggie Wayne. Ridley's production dipped a bit in 2016 as Alabama broke in a true freshman at quarterback who was a little hesitant to take deep shots down the field where Ridley, an explosive playmaker, can thrive. He could post huge numbers in 2017 now that Jalen Hurts has a year of seasoning under his belt.

Ridley was selected to the preseason watch lists for the Maxwell and Camp awards, which go to college football's top player.

CFB 24/7 is marking the days to the start of the 2017 season by counting down the top 25 players in college football.

Pulling back the curtain on the vote

Ridley received votes from four of seven CFB 24/7 experts, with two analysts placing him at No. 13 in their rankings. He's the highest-rated wide receiver in the #CFBTop25 countdown and in CFB 24/7's "17 for '17" series, Ridley was rated No. 8 on the list of offensive players most likely to become NFL stars.

What some of our analysts are saying about Ridley

"Ridley is the best deep threat in college football. He is also an explosive playmaker after the catch." -- Daniel Jeremiah

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"Silky smooth pass-catcher with outstanding hands, ball skills and route-running ability. Ridley is a natural WR1 with a game that's tailor-made for a system that places a premium on 'catch-and-run' playmakers on the perimeter." -- Bucky Brooks

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"Speed merchant, but doesn't shirk his responsibilities as a route runner. With his ability to blow by cornerbacks and hit big catch-and-run plays underneath, this should be a monster season for him." -- Lance Zierlein

Where do fans rank Ridley?

We asked Twitter users who they considered the best player in college football. Ridley didn't receive a vote. It's surprising that he didn't receive any fan support, considering he's one of the top players on the most high-profile program in college football. It might be related to the fact that his production dipped a bit in 2016 (89 catches, 1,045 yards, 7 TDs in 2015; 72-769-7 in 2016), but he remains one of the game's top talents.

Follow College Football 24/7 on Twitter @NFL_CFB.

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