Following a successful 2020 season, which saw Cincinnati QB Desmond Ridder burst onto the national scene with increased production, the Bearcats star is in a prime position for a breakout year in 2021. With the start of the season less than a month away, the Cincinnati Bearcats could be a factor in the College Football Playoff, too. The Bearcats have early matchups against Indiana and Notre Dame before beginning their conference schedule. If Desmond Ridder is somehow able to lead the Bearcats to wins against those two programs in 2021, it’s possible that Cincinnati could run the table and end up 12-0.
An Impressive Collegiate Career
Desmond Ridder first broke out onto the scene in 2018 as a redshirt freshman. That year, Ridder finished with 2,445 passing yards, a 62.4% completion percentage, and a 20/5 touchdown to interception ratio. Needless to say, it was an impressive start to his collegiate career. However, the 2019 season was far less successful. Ridder’s stats dropped across the board, despite a heavier workload. In fact, Ridder’s future was in question as Cincinnati gave QB Ben Bryant an opportunity.
Despite the challenge from Bryant, Ridder rose to the occasion in a COVID-shortened 2020 season. As a result, Ben Bryant entered the transfer portal and is now at Eastern Michigan. With the ball firmly in his hands for 2021, the sky is the limit for Desmond Ridder.
Looking Ahead To The 2021 Season
While Trevor Lawrence and Justin Fields are no longer in the college football picture, that doesn’t mean that it gets any easier for Desmond Ridder in 2021. Prospects such as Spencer Rattler, Sam Howell, and Carson Strong all appear to be heavy competition for the best QB this season.
If Cincinnati head coach Luke Fickell is once again able to get the best out of Desmond Ridder, we could be looking at a mid-first round grade on the Bearcats QB as we approach the 2021 NFL Draft.