A few odds and ends on Monday’s College Football Playoff national championship game between Alabama and Ohio State:
Five NFL prospects to watch
Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields: After starring in the semifinal win over Clemson, Fields has another chance to make his case for being the draft’s No. 2 quarterback (behind Tigers star Trevor Lawrence).
Alabama quarterback Mac Jones: He won’t go as high as Fields, but he’s a potential first-round pick. Could the Bucs consider him as the eventual successor to Tom Brady?
Alabama offensive lineman Alex Leatherwood: The 6-foot-6, 312-pound Pensacola native was an All-American and likely will be an early-round pick. Given Tampa Bay’s need at tackle, Leatherwood is a name Bucs fans should know heading into the draft process.
Ohio State defensive back Shaun Wade: Another probable early-round pick, Wade could be tasked with trying to shut down Heisman Trophy winner DeVonta Smith. Good luck.
Ohio State receiver Chris Olave: Don’t overlook the Buckeyes’ top target (42 catches, seven touchdowns). The 6-foot-1, 188-pound California native is a first- or second-round pick.
Trey Sermon has dominated his past two games, just as another former Buckeyes back (Ezekiel Elliott) did during the team’s run to the 2014 title game.
Regular-season finale: 17 carries, 121 yards, 2 TDs in 42-28 win over Michigan
Big Ten championship: 20 carries, 220 yards, 2 TDs in 59-0 win over Wisconsin
CFP semifinal: 20 carries, 230 yards, 2 TDs in 42-35 win over Alabama
National championship: 36 carries, 246 yards, 4 TDs in 42-20 win over Oregon
Regular-season finale: 10 carries, 112 yards, 1 TD in 52-12 win over Michigan State
Big Ten championship: 29 carries, 331 yards, 2 TDs in 22-10 win over Northwestern
CFP semifinal: 31 carries, 193 yards, 1 TD (plus 4 catches for 61 yards) in 49-28 win over Clemson
National championship: ??
Patrick Surtain homecoming
The championship is more than a south Florida homecoming for Alabama cornerback Patrick Surtain II. It’s another chance to play in the same stadium where his father, Patrick Surtain Sr., starred as a three-time Pro Bowler with the Dolphins.
“I just remember him making plays out there, having fun, but also just knowing what it took to get here,” the younger Surtain said.
Mac Jones vs. Shaun Wade
One of the game’s most important matchups — how Buckeyes cornerback Shaun Wade fares against Alabama quarterback Mac Jones — has an important Florida backstory: The two were on the same Jacksonville 7-on-7 team in high school.
Jones remembers Wade as being humble, especially for a five-star prospect. Wade said the entire team always believed in Jones, a mere three-star recruit they nicknamed “Money-Making Mac.”
“From 7-on-7, we always knew that Mac was a great quarterback,” Wade said. “He put the ball in the right spots just like he’s doing now. Strong arm.
“Just really, really looking forward to seeing him Monday and just playing against him.”