ATLANTA — Like many other Georgia football fans, Alabama wide receiver Calvin Ridley thought his younger brother, Riley, hauled in the game-winning touchdown pass of the Georgia-Tennessee game.
With seconds remaining , Riley Ridley caught a 47-yard touchdown pass from Jacob Eason to give Georgia a 31-28 lead. In Tuscaloosa, Calvin had been told of his brother’s spectacular catch.
“Someone had told me at halftime of our game that he caught the game winning touchdown pass and I was like, ‘That’s awesome’,” Calvin said.
Unfortunately, Calvin found afterwards that Tennessee had ended up winning on a Hail Mary of its own.
“Even after finding out, my mom and I were still super proud of him that he had made such a big play,”Calvin said. “I really just wish they(Georgia) had been able to get the win.
The two brothers, Calvin is a year older than Riley, Facetime after every game. Calvin put up huge numbers in his freshman campaign, as he had over 1,000 receiving yards for Alabama.
Ridley was on crutches at the team hotel on Thursday morning, just over 24 hours before kickoff against TCU in the Liberty Bowl. Head coach Kirby Smart said there could be ligament damage and it “doesn’t look good” for Ridley being able to play Friday.
Riley didn’t have quite the same freshman season, as he finished with just 12 catches and 238 yards. The freshman wide receiver will also reportedly be out of Georgia’s bowl game with an injury.
“I’m definitely proud of him but he also could’ve done better had he gotten a few more chances,” Calvin said. “He’s really good and I’m very proud of him but I know he can do a lot better.”
The two also spent this season catching passes from freshmen quarterbacks. Riley was catching passes from Jacob Eason, while Calvin was playing with Jalen Hurts.
Alabama offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin attributed playing with a freshman quarterback as to why Calvin saw his numbers dip this season. It’s also why the Ridley brothers can expect to see an increase in production next season, as both Eason and Hurts grow more comfortable in the college game.
And Calvin very much wants to see his younger brother shine. Despite playing for Alabama, the older brother described himself as a big Georgia fan.
Alabama takes on Washington in the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl on Saturday.