How the Ohio State, Alabama lineups were ranked out of HS
Ohio State will face Alabama for the national championship on Jan. 11 and both rosters are loaded with high-end talent. Here is a look at how each position group matches up against their counterpart on the other side.
Note: There could be some changes in starting lineups but this is a guide for the championship match-up after Saturday’s semifinals.
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OHIO STATE OL vs. ALABAMA DL
The Buckeyes front dominated Clemson in Saturday’s win and it will be another interesting match-up in the championship game since Ohio State will have to deal with three down linemen in four-stars Justin Eboigbe and Christian Barmore along with three-star DJ Dale. Alabama will bring pressure from all over the place, though, so Ohio State will have to be ready.
The Buckeyes' group up front is loaded led by five-stars Wyatt Davis and Nick Petit-Frere, four-stars Harry Miller and Josh Myers and three-star Thayer Munford.
ALABAMA OL vs. OHIO STATE DL
Alabama’s offensive line is a veteran group, big, strong, tough and well-respected from their rankings as five-star Alex Leatherwood and Evan Neal lead the way, followed by four-star Emil Ekiyor and then three-stars Deonte Brown and Chris Owens, who have both clearly outplayed their rankings.
Ohio State’s front four could see other names like five-star Zach Harrison back but up the middle the Buckeyes are tough with four-stars Tommy Togiai and Haskell Garrett and might be able to have some success against Alabama in that area. Four-stars Jonathon Cooper and Tyreke Smith should have opportunities as well among others.
OHIO STATE WR/TE vs. ALABAMA DBs
This should be one of the most interesting matchups in the title game as Ohio State receiver Chris Olave has clearly outplayed his three-star ranking and then the Buckeyes also have four-stars Garrett Wilson, Jameson Williams, tight end Jeremy Ruckert and many other weapons.
But Alabama’s defensive backs can play and have big reps - and even though some have lofty rankings, they might have been under-ranked looking back. The Crimson Tide will have five-star Patrick Surtain along with four-stars Brian Branch, Jordan Battle, Josh Jobe, Demarco Hellams and others to stifle the Ohio State passing attack.
ALABAMA WR/TE vs. OHIO STATE DBs
Ohio State defensive coordinator/secondary coach Kerry Coombs was doing confetti angels after the Buckeyes beat Clemson on Saturday night but he’ll have to head back to the drawing board soon to figure out how to even come close to slowing down Alabama’s passing attack.
Four-stars lead the way for the Crimson Tide pass catchers, headlined by receiver DeVonta Smith, who clearly should have been a five-star in hindsight, along with receiver John Metchie and tight end Jahleel Billingsley. Three-star Miller Forristall is also an intricate part of the offense as is four-star Slade Bolden and others.
Ohio State has guys, though. Five-star Shaun Wade, four-stars Marcus Williamson and Josh Proctor along with three-stars Marcus Hooker, Sevyn Banks and others will be called upon to slow the Crimson Tide down.
OHIO STATE QB/RB vs. ALABAMA LBs
Justin Fields took a shot the ribs in the first half and still gutted out an incredible performance in Ohio State’s win over Clemson to further back up his five-star ranking. Former four-star running back Trey Sermon had an outstanding night as well for the Buckeyes but it will be interesting to see how they handle Alabama’s linebackers.
The Crimson Tide have linebackers coming off the edge, they hit hard, they’re good in coverage and five-stars William Anderson and Dylan Moses lead the way along with four-star Christian Harris and many others.
ALABAMA QB/RB vs. OHIO STATE LBs
Another loaded backfield is at Alabama with four-star quarterback Mac Jones running the show and five-star and former No. 1 overall prospect Najee Harris putting up insane numbers running and catching the ball this season. It’s a shame he wasn’t involved a Heisman Trophy finalist because Harris is putting up huge stats.
Ohio State will have its hands full but the Buckeyes have some talented linebackers to counter Alabama’s run game and Jones sitting in the pocket as five-star Baron Browning, four-stars Pete Werner and Justin Hilliard and three-star Tuf Borland among others lead the way.