Wesley Chapel, December 25, 2018– 2020 linebacker and student-athlete (4.2 GPA definitely qualifies as such!) Dylan Ridolph wreaked havoc in the Pasco County this season, despite a 7-4 season cut short by Lakeland in the first round of the playoffs, who later went on to win the 7A State Title. He led all of Class 7A players in sacks with a staggering 22.0 sack season, adding a cherry on top, ranking 20th of 91 players in tackles at his respected position! A mind-blowing feat in his junior campaign, with one final rodeo left as a Wiregrass Ranch Bull.
As his Hudl human highlight reel displays, Ridolph WILL find a way blow past you and he WILL lay your quarterback out with his brutish 6’ 210-pound frame, period. He can shoot off the edge line of scrimmage like a bottle rocket before blockers can even think about getting positioned correctly, while still being consistently patient when attacking at the front line- waiting to burst through any offensive gap that presents itself.
Every down it seems, his sharp instincts read between the lines, telling him to relieve pressure off the lineman and track down the real target. Finesse moves, power moves, next-level size- you name it, he’s got it in his itinerary; aiding him in being first to the football. Most important, he’s all gas no brakes when chasing down the ball carrier, unrelenting until they’re six feet under!
Just when you think you’ve eluded him- he sneaks from behind and yanks you back down to reality (not gently). Dylan possesses a natural feel for his respective position and upholds the responsibilities that come with the job without question. For his outstanding middle and outside linebacker efforts, he has 2nd team All-State, 1st team All-County, back to back North Suncoast Defensive Player of The Year and Big County Preps Defensive Player of The Year to enhance his list of accolades.
According to MaxPreps, in a 22-game span over his two-year career in the maroon and white, Ridolph has amassed 121 solo and 171 total tackles, 7.8 tackles per game, 37.0 sacks with 1.7 sacks per game and 202 sack yards lost, 56 TFL’s, 1 caused fumble, 15 QB hurries, and even 44 kickoff return yards. This 2018 season, mentioned within above stats, he’s recorded 58 solo and 82 total tackles with 7.5 TPG and 33 TFL’s, 186 sack yards lost on 22 sacks, 1 caused fumble, 6 QB hurries, and the 44 kickoff return yards in a 43-14 win against the Wesley Chapel Wildcats. Dylan was a little more productive overall in his sophomore season, but was notably more disruptive in offensive backfields, collecting 7 more sacks this junior season!
The overused words ‘special’ or ‘has potential’ doesn’t do this talented athlete justice; ultimately, these are just his first signs of greatness, en route to what could be a lengthy football career and I can’t imagine he’ll be getting off at the next exit anytime soon.
Vaughan Sixbury, BCP Contributor