Their Uniforms Say Ohio State and Alabama. The Players Are From Everywhere. – The Wall Street Journal

Chess Engine

The engine of the 2020 Alabama team that will play for the national championship on Monday night is the recruiting class of 2017, an embarrassment of riches that came to Alabama from sea to shining sea.

The Heisman Trophy winner, receiver DeVonta Smith, is from Louisiana. Quarterback Mac Jones, a Heisman runner up, is from Florida. Running back Najee Harris hails from California. Other key players call Mississippi, Georgia, Alabama, Texas and Kentucky home. And that doesnt include Tua Tagovailoa of Hawaii and other 2017 class members who are already in the NFL.

The group is emblematic of Nick Sabans strategy to dominate recruiting not just in Alabama, or the South, but everywhere. Now No. 3 Ohio State has made it to the title game by adopting its opponents recruiting formula.

The Buckeyes have jumped from great to elite in the last decade through an aggressive geographic shift in recruiting that was ushered in by former coach Urban Meyer beginning with his first class in 2013 and has been perpetuated under current coach Ryan Day.

In the final three years under Jim Tressel, Meyers predecessor, Ohio State signed 12 prospects ranked in the top 100 of their classes, according to 247sports. Seven were Ohioans; others came from Pennsylvania, Indiana and Michigan.

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Their Uniforms Say Ohio State and Alabama. The Players Are From Everywhere. - The Wall Street Journal

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