Our staff weighs in on the biggest off-the-radar star to emerge from the College Football Playoff national championship game:
Joey Knight, @TBTimes_Bulls: ‘Bama’s freshman QB certainly wasn’t on my radar at kickoff, but by game’s end he was brandishing more poise per square inch than Jake Fromm or any of the other precocious rookies on the field.
DOWN GOES MEKHI
Mike Sherman, @MikeSherman: I’m going with the Alabama assistant who dropped Tide linebacker Mekhi Brown with a quick left hand when Brown got out of hand on the ‘Bama sideline. Both sidelines were crazy.
Tom Jones, @tomwjones: Kirk Herbstreit is the star of every game he calls. The ESPN college football analyst might be the best college football analyst ever. He’s still a young guy, but already you know it’s a big game when he’s on the mic. And if he’s on the mic, he’s giving a big-time performance.
Rodney Page, @RodneyHomeTeam: Alabama coach Nick Saban asks his freshman quarterback to get them back into the national championship game with his team trailing 13-0 at halftime. And he does it. Tua Tagovailoa has become Alabama’s newest hero, and odds are most Tide fans couldn’t pronounce his name before the game started.
Traci Johnson, @TBHomeTeam: The Alabama kicker who has yet to be discovered. Send resumes to …
Bob Putnam, @BobbyHomeTeam: Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa grabbed the headlines, but it was another freshman who was just as impressive. Harris got his chance in the second half and responded with 64 yards on six carries in regulation.
YOU OUGHT TO SEE THE KID FROM ALASKA …
Martin Fennelly, @mjfennelly: There have been few performances in college championship history like the one Tua Tagovailoa laid on America on Monday night. The Hawaiian saved Nick Saban and that kicker and was chief overseer of another title wave.