Updated: Mar 3
Via: USA Today Sports
After what has been a wild season in college football, we have finally made it to the National Championship that features two familiar foes; Georgia and Alabama. Georgia has undoubtedly been the most dominant team in CFB this season until they previously ran into the Tide in the SEC Championship game where Alabama embarrassed the Bulldogs. The two face off again tonight, however for many of these players, they'll be lined up against or with each other on Sundays for years to come. Let's take a look at some of the top prospects in tonight's game.
Evan Neal, OT, Alabama
A three-year starter for the Crimson Tide and at three different positions, Neal is a complete offensive lineman. Standing at 6’7 350 pounds Neal was a consensus first-team All-American and Semifinalist for the Outland Trophy. Neal’s size jumps out on paper and film, however, what is more, impressive is the athleticism and agility that Neal possesses with his frame. Having experience at left tackle, right tackle, and guard, Neal has all the versatility any NFL Head Coach or General Manager would want on the offensive line and the stats to back it up, as Neal has allowed zero sacks this year.
Jameson Williams, WR, Alabama
Previously an Ohio State Buckeye, Williams is in his first season with the Tide and has an immediate impact on Alabama’s offense. Williams is most dangerous on down-the-field targets as well as after the catch where he has over five-hundred and fifty yards (ESPN). Williams was a finalist for the 2021 Biletnikoff award given to the nation’s best Wide Receiver as he tallied over fifteen-hundred receiving yards and fifteen touchdowns. Williams could be in store for a big performance Monday night, as he torched Georgia’s number one ranked defense for one-hundred and eighty-four receiving yards and two touchdowns against the Bulldogs in the SEC Championship.
Jordan Davis, DT, Georgia
Davis has been a game-wrecker all season for opposing offenses and has been one of the many leaders on Georgia’s number one ranked defense. Although the Outland Trophy winner’s stats don’t jump out at you like other members of that defense, his impact on the game is unquestionable. Davis’s ability as both a power rusher and a run-stopper calls for offenses to double team him nearly every snap. Davis does an incredible job of clogging gaps and taking up space which allows his teammates to fly to the ball and make plays.
Nakobe Dean, LB, Georgia
Dean has been the Quarterback of this Georgia defense all season and is arguably the most complete linebacker in college football. Dean is the prototypical inside linebacker as he possesses sideline-to-sideline speed, the ability to wrap up and finish plays (164 solo tackles), can get after the Quarterback on the blitz (6 total sacks), and can even drop in coverage consistently (5 pass deflections, 2 interceptions). Dean took home the Butkus award for the 2021 season, awarded to the nation’s top linebacker
Christian Harris, LB, Alabama
Harris has been right there with Nakobe Dean all year as far as the impact he has had for his team. Harris has the same sideline-to-sideline ability as Dean and effortlessly changes direction allowing him to make plays on the ball, Harris’s speed also allows him to shoot through gaps when blitzing. What sets Harris apart is his unique ability to cover both running backs and linebackers on his own when opposing offenses drop back to pass. Harris is still developing in many aspects of his game, as an ACL injury earlier in his career with the Tide set him back in the past.
Devonte Wyatt, DT, Georgia
Wyatt has often been featured in Georgia’s impressive defensive line that has exceptional depth. Although Wyatt doesn’t receive the same recognition as fellow teammate Jordan Davis, he holds similar abilities to those of Davis. Wyatt is more explosive off the line of scrimmage when defending both the run and pass, but what might be more impressive than his raw ability is his power and motor.
Jordan Battle, S, Alabama
Battle has been a leader in the secondary for Alabama over the last two seasons and has the frame and talent to play in the box as well as make plays in the run game. However, what stands out the most about Battle is how easily he reads the eyes of opposing Quarterbacks and flies towards the ball before it reaches the receiver. Battle displayed this ability time and time again in the SEC Championship game as he finished the game with one interception in which he returned for a touchdown, and made multiple other plays on the ball during the game.
James Cook, RB, Georgia
Cook is the perfect blend of elusiveness and explosion to pair with Georgia’s powerful running back Zamir White. Cook’s versatility in both the running and passing game is what makes him stand out amongst the depth of Georgia’s backfield. This season alone Cook has totaled nine hundred and twenty yards and eleven total touchdowns on the ground and through the air combined. Averaging just under eleven yards per reception (10.8) Cook is dangerous with the ball in his hands after the catch and is a matchup nightmare for defenses.
*All Statistics are taken from ESPN Stats & Info. Department