For most on the field at Levi Stadium, Monday night was a rare opportunity to win a National Championship—something they’ll be able to cherish forever. While I’m sure many who stick around next year at Alabama will get a legitimate shot, success is never guaranteed, and to hold that crystal football is a unique honor most college athletes will never know.
But for a fair amount of players, something else was on the line, too. Many athletes were playing for their football futures. NFL coaches, fans and personnel officials look to the National Championship game as one of the biggest scouting moments of the year. It’s one thing to perform well in September against a cupcake schedule. It’s an entirely different beast to do it against other future NFL players on a national stage with everything on the line.
So today’s Question of the Day is:
Which 2019 NFL prospect impressed you the most in the National Championship game?
My answer: Clemson DT Christian Wilkins.
While the focus of this replay is on edge defender Clelin Ferrell—who also had a pretty good game—look at Wilkins (#42). He immediately blows by the right guard with a ferocious swim/chop, and has the burst to get into the backfield. The center delivers a block that initially throws Wilkins a little off-balance, but a little bend of the shoulder quickly gets him around the center, as he provides the dual pressure with Ferrell.
On the day, Wilkins finished with four tackles, 0.5 sacks and a tackle for loss—a modest day, for sure. But throughout the course of the game, he showed why he was top five among interior defenders in pressures created. He’s a beast.