It’s appropriate that the College Football Playoff National Championship Game will feature no shortage of superstar talent on both sides of the ball. And with the undefeated No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide, a team that had three players finish in the top-five in Heisman Trophy voting, there is a breathtaking amount of offensive talent. And that’s before you consider two first-round NFL Draft selections on defense as well.
So who are the key players for both teams and on both sides of the ball ahead of the national championship game?
While earlier versions of the Nick Saban Football Machine™ funneled most of its offensive star power to the offensive line and backfield, the current iteration has no shortage of top-shelf talent in each position. But wide receiver and Heisman Trophy winner DeVonta Smith shines brightest among this absurdly talented group with triggerman Mac Jones, another Heisman candidate, not too far behind.
Life isn’t fair and resistance is futile. To confirm that grim worldview, look no further than the embarrassment of riches Alabama also features on defense. Cornerback Patrick Surtain II earned consensus All-American honors this season as well as the SEC’s Defensive Player of the Year award and will almost certainly become a first-round draft choice later this year. The Crimson Tide also have senior linebacker Dylan Moses, a first-team All-SEC selection this season.
The upside for the future is bright as well, as true sophomores Christian Harris and Byron Young, who both have two seasons with plenty of reps under their belt already, and will likely not be long for the team after the 2021 campaign.