If you’re looking for players with Michigan connections in Monday night’s national championship game between Georgia and Alabama, the list is not long.
Alabama’s Jamar King is a backup senior defensive lineman from Detroit Denby. He transferred to Alabama in 2016 from Mendocino Community College in Ukiah, California.
King didn’t play college football straight out of high school. Instead, he was working at a Chrysler assembly plant in Metro Detroit. He described his unorthodox path from Detroit to California to Tuscaloosa for a story on seccountry.com.
On the Georgia side, junior wide receiver Steven Van Tiflin is from Saginaw Heritage. Van Tiflin, who played quarterback in high school, made the Georgia team as freshman walk-on in 2014 and has been on the scout team since.
Two other players in the championship game might be familiar to Michigan Wolverines fans. Alabama running back Najee Harris was the No. 1-ranked recruit in the 2016 class, and his recruitment came down to the Crimson Tide and the Wolverines. Also in 2016, Georgia’s Isaac Nauta was the No. 1-ranked tight end, and his finalists were Michigan and Alabama, as well as the Bulldogs.