College Football Playoff National Championship Players To Watch
DT Quinnen Williams, Soph. Alabama: Williams didn’t have a bad day against Oklahoma – he just wasn’t as splashy as he normally is. The 6-4, 295-pound breakout star on the Bama defensive front made just one tackle against Oklahoma, but he’s used to living behind the line with eight sacks and 18 tackles for loss on the year. Now he needs to have one of his take over games – when he’s in a groove, forget it.
QB Tua Tagovailoa, Soph. Alabama: It was in the College Football Playoff National Championship last season that Tagovailoa went from star-backup-in-waiting to all-time cult hero status. And now he knows what he’s doing.
Get ready for the Tank For Tua campaigns to kick in next NFL season, and why not? He’s not huge, but he’s crazy accurate, throws a beautiful deep ball, and he doesn’t screw up, hitting 70% of his throws for 3,671 yards and 41 touchdowns with just four picks.
The moment will hardly be too big for him – throwing for over 300 yards in three of the last four games, completing 89% of his passes against Oklahoma in the Orange. He might not have won the Heisman, but he’s on the verge of being a two-time national championship quarterback.
QB Trevor Lawrence, Fr. Clemson: It’ll be Tank For Tua in the 2020 NFL Draft, and it’ll be Tank For Trevor in 2021.
The 6-6, 215-pounder was too good to keep off the field, taking over the starting job four games into the season and finishing with over 2,900 yards with 27 touchdown passes and four picks. Sort of like Georgia’s Jake Fromm – who almost beat Alabama twice, including in last season’s national title game – nothing fazes the guy.
He’s not a runner, but he’s mobile, fearless, and keeps his eyes down the field at all times to make things happen. More than just throwing for 327 yards and three scores against Notre Dame, he showed the ability to end the game late in the first half with the strikes needed to put it away before going to the locker room. He’ll be unflappable.
DT Austin Bryant, Sr. Clemson: Here’s the thing about losing Dexter Lawrence from the middle of the Clemson defensive front – someone was going to step up.
Lawrence is the future NFL anchor, Christian Wilkins is the ultra-productive star, and Clelin Ferrell is one of the nation’s top pass rushers. But against Notre Dame, it was the 6-6, 280-pound Bryant who took his game up a few notches, leading the team with six tackles, two sacks, and three tackles for loss.