Know what happens when you break a record previously held by the likes of Julio Jones and Amari Cooper? Know what happens when you step into a rebuilding offensive line and help that unit become one of the nation’s most dominant? Know what happens when you set a record with two pass interceptions and return them for touchdowns in the same game?
Know what happens when you do those things when you are a freshman, and when you play football for The University of Alabama?
You make Freshman All-America.That’s what happened for Crimson Tide wide receiver Calvin Ridley, offensive guard Ross Pierschbacher, and cornerback Minkah Fitzpatrick as the Sporting News announced the honors Wednesday.
Ridley, from Coconut Creek, Fla., has developed into the Crimson Tide’s leading receiver. For the season, he has reeled in a freshman school-record 75 catches for 893 yards and five touchdowns. Among freshmen wideouts, Ridley ranks second nationally in catches and third in receiving yards. He was a second team All-SEC selection and Freshman All-SEC Team choice.
Pierschbacher, from Cedar Falls, Iowa, has been a stable addition at left guard for the Alabama offensive line. The unit has dominated the line of scrimmage as the Tide ranks fourth nationally in time of possession (33:52) and 27th in rushing offense (208.2 yards per game). For the season, Pierschbacher has missed only five assignments and surrendered just half of a sack. He also has recorded 26 knockdown blocks.
Fitzpatrick, from Old Bridge, N.J., has made an immediate impact on a defensive unit that is widely considered among the best in the country. He has recorded 41 stops, including three tackles for a loss (-18 yards) and two sacks (-17 yards). He also has two interceptions, eight pass breakups, one quarterback hurry, and a blocked punt return touchdown. Fitzpatrick became the first player in school history to return two interceptions for touchdowns in a single game on Oct. 17 at Texas A&M, helping to lead the Tide to a 41-23 win over the Aggies.