If college football is all about talent, then it might not be a big stretch to see Ohio State and Alabama meet in this year’s national championship game.
NFL draft analyst Daniel Jeremiah published today his Talented Top 50 – a list of the 50 most talented players in college football, and both the Buckeyes and Crimson Tide fare well.
OK, in the case of Alabama, the Tide fares very well. The two-time defending national champions have four players in the top 11 – wideout Amari Cooper (fourth), linebacker C.J. Mosley (fifth), offensive tackle Cyrus Kouandjio (sixth) and running back T.J. Yeldon (11th).
The Tide also has quarterback A.J. McCarron ranked 26th and safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix at No. 40, while linebacker Adrian Hubbard is 43rd and defensive end Ed Stinson is 50th.
Now that’s how you build a national champion right there.
Ohio State can hang its hat on this fact, though – the Buckeyes are the only other program with two players in the top 15. Cornerback Bradley Roby – who has made his intentions to leave for the NFL after this year, his redshirt junior campaign – is ranked 12th, while linebacker Ryan Shazier checks in 14th.
Both players had standout 2012 seasons, with Roby leading the nation with 1.73 passes defended per game and Shazier filling up the stat sheet with 115 tackles, 17 TFL, five sacks and three forced fumbles.
The list, of course, has an SEC flair. The No. 1 player is South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney – no surprise there – while tackle Jake Matthews of Texas A&M is seventh, meaning this scout has five of the top seven most talented players in the nation in the SEC.
Meanwhile, Michigan offensive tackle Taylor Lewan is the top Big Ten player at No. 9 on the list, and he’s the only non-Buckeye as well.
One note: Buffalo linebacker Khalil Mack, who plays on a Bulls team OSU will open the season against, is rated 19th.