The College Football Playoff national championship kicks off at 8 p.m. Jan. 11 — and there’ll be more than a few Ravens players interested in that contest between Alabama and Ohio State.
Offensive linemen Bradley Bozeman and D.J. Fluker, cornerbacks Marlon Humphrey and Anthony Averett and running back Mark Ingram played at Alabama. All five players won at least one national title during their time with the Crimson Tide, with Ingram also winning the Heisman Trophy in 2009.
Meanwhile, there are two Ohio State products on the Ravens: running back J.K. Dobbins and linebacker Malik Harrison. The last title the Buckeyes won was in 2014, before Dobbins and Harrison were on the team, but those two did win three Big Ten championships from 2017-2019.
Dobbins ran for 805 yards and nine touchdowns as a rookie this year, with Bozeman helping pave the way. Bozeman talked to Dobbins about a friendly bet after Alabama and Ohio State won their semifinal games against Notre Dame and Clemson, respectively, but at first Dobbins wasn’t too interested.
“I tried to get something going, but he just wasn’t having it,” Bozeman said on Glenn Clark Radio Jan. 5. “I would say he’s nervous. I would definitely have to say he’s nervous.”
Bozeman, though, got an idea for a possible bet with Dobbins on GCR. McDonald’s restaurants in China are selling sandwiches made of spam, Oreo cookie crumbs and mayonnaise. The proposal: If Alabama wins, Dobbins has to take a couple of bites of that kind of sandwich, while if Ohio State wins, Bozeman does the honors.
Bozeman liked the idea, and Dobbins is into it:
Bozeman doesn’t mind a little fun wager every now and then.
“I’m a friendly bettor, so I don’t do anything over 100 dollars. Anything over 100, I feel like people start getting very sensitive about [it],” Bozeman said. “So I don’t like to do anything over that just because I like to keep it friendly. I’m not in it to make money. It’s more of a pride thing to me. I just always think it’s cool just to have a little bet. People have pride in their teams. There’s so many different athletes and different colleges in the Ravens’ organization, so it’s definitely a great little deal.”
Alabama is 12-0 this year, while Ohio State is 7-0 (the Buckeyes had multiple games canceled that weren’t made up due to COVID-19). The Crimson Tide has won five national titles since Nick Saban was hired in 2007, while Ryan Day is in his second year as Ohio State’s head coach.
Alabama is led by quarterback Mac Jones (4,036 yards, 36 touchdowns, 77 percent completions), 2020 Heisman Trophy winner Devonta Smith (1,641 receiving yards and 20 touchdown catches) and running back Najee Harris (1,387 rushing yards and 27 total touchdowns). Ohio State is led by quarterback Justin Fields, who has thrown for 1,906 yards and 21 touchdowns on 73.4 percent passing, and running back Trey Sermon (848 rushing yards and four touchdowns).
Bozeman is confident in the Tide, which is an eight-point favorite.
“I like their chances,” Bozeman said. “I wanted Ohio State to win over Clemson. I just think Alabama matches up better against Ohio State than they do Clemson. And also I think Alabama has one of the better teams I’ve seen in a while. When you’ve got three guys, [Smith, Jones and Harris], finishing in the top five of the Heisman, you’re doing something right.”
For more from Bozeman, listen to the full interview here:
Photo Credits: Kenya Allen/PressBox