The 2015 college football national championship game is here. The first ever college football playoff wraps up with the Oregon Ducks facing the Ohio State Buckeyes at Jerry World in Arlington, Texas. The game is tentatively scheduled to kick off at 5:30 p.m. PT, but I believe it will end up starting a little after that due to pre-game festivities. ESPN has the coverage, with Chris Fowler and Kirk Herbstreit calling the game from the booth, and Heather Cox and Tom Rinaldi handling sideline duties. There will be 12 different ways to view the game through the ESPN family of media. SB Nation broke them all down.
There will be plenty of draft prospects to follow in Monday's game. Trevor Woods will be here later this afternoon with a rundown of prospects he will be watching. The 49ers will not have a scout or personnel person credentialed for the game. The playoff PR department only issued credentials for seven teams, all of which were selected by way of lottery. Of course with the 12 different options for viewing the game, I'd imagine the 49ers and scouting departments for 24 other teams will be able to figure out what they are watching.
Fooch's update - Trevor has a rundown of some of the notable prospects for both teams:
QB Marcus Mariota: This is the name everyone knows, and rightfully so after putting together a great season and winning the Heisman Trophy in the process. Mariota will be the first quarterback chosen in this years draft because of all the intangibles he already possesses. Mariota can run like a running back and is decisive throwing the football. His football intelligence is above average, moves well in the pocket, and his arm strength is stellar. Mariota rushed for 715 yards and 9 touchdowns, impressive numbers, but then you look at his passing stats and they are even more astounding. On the year, Mariota threw 31 touchdowns while only throwing 4 interceptions. A certain amount of luck goes into play when only four interceptions are thrown, but he's smart with the football and makes the right decision more often than not. I'm not entirely certain how he will turn out as a pro, but I like him more than any prospect in last years draft class of quarterbacks.
DL Arik Armstead: The 6'8" prospect may not have eye-popping stats, but his stature sure is. Armstead falls into the athletic freak variety and will be an intriguing option for NFL teams to consider in the early rounds. Armstead is more raw of a prospect than Dion Jordan coming out of Oregon, but may have even more upside. Armstead could become a dangerous pass rusher and run stuffer if he continues to improve his game. Armstead will be looking to impress scouts tonight after only totally 2.5 sacks on the season. An NFL GM told Albert Breer recently that Armstead has first round talent.
OT Jake Fisher: At 6'6", Fisher is a prospect that you should get to know tonight, take a look at him along the line, he shouldn't disappoint. A valuable asset in both pass and run blocking, Fisher really makes this offensive line go. He's quick, shows good power to go along with sound technique. He can be caught with bad footing at times, but he's a solid prospect for the most part and should go in round two or three. Another big pro to his game is Fisher's endurance. In this up-tempo Oregon attack, Fisher doesn't seem to wear down, he keeps punching defenders in the mouth.
C Hroniss Grasu: An All-American, Grasu is a more athletic version of Seahawks center Max Unger according to Oregon offensive line coach Steve Greatwood.
LB Tony Washington: 6'3" linebackers with speed and good change of direction ability tend to climb in the draft process, look for Washington's name in the coming months even more. He reminds me a bit of Raiders linebacker Sio Moore. On the season Washington had 6 sacks.
DT Michael Bennett: A midseason switch from nose tackle to a three-technique contributed to a huge boost in Bennett's production this season. In the six games at three-technique, he notched six sacks. Scouts are well aware of this stat and expect to see Bennett get after Mariota a time or two in this one. Bennett has the ability to become a 3-4 end or stay inside in a 3-4 defense. His position versatility bodes well for his draft stock.
WR Devin Smith: One of the more electric wide receivers in college football this season, Smith gets open most of the time. With exceptional speed he also has exeptional hands and an ability at 6'1" to win contested footballs up for grabs. Smith only had 32 receptions this season, but he made the most out of them, with 886 yards receiving and 12 touchdowns. Smith will be drafted by the time round two is over.
TE Jeff Heuerman: Many teams will like Heuerman for his blocking ability, which is among the best in this draft class. Heuerman does flash speed for a tight end, but his low output of receptions (17 this year) will leave the evaluation to be determined by teams until the combine kicks off. It's hard telling how good of hands he has with such a small sample size, but he does have good speed. We have learned from Vance Mcdonald that speed doesn't always translate to receptions, though.
CB Doran Grant: One of the faster corners in college football, Grant will be another name that should see his draft stock skyrocket in the coming months. On the year, Grant had six interceptions and was one of the most reliable players on a stout Ohio State defense.
DE Joey Bosa: Bosa won't be going to the NFL this season, but he is worth mentioning because of the output he had for the Buckeyes this year. Bosa recorded 13.5 sacks, 4 forced fumbles, and 20 tackles for a loss. He needs to gain weight and more muscle to make a smooth transition to the NFL. He's tough, but not NFL strong just yet.
When: Monday, January 12, 2015
Where: AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas
Time: 8:30 p.m. EST
TV Announcers: Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit, Heather Cox, Tom Rinaldi
Online Streaming: WatchESPN
Radio: ESPN Radio.
Odds: Ohio State +6.5 (+180), Oregon -6.5 (-210)
Over/under: 74 points
OddsShark Computer Prediction: Oregon 44, Ohio State 36
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