College football’s biggest stars will be on full display Monday night when No. 1 Georgia (14-0) and No. 3 TCU (13-1) take the field at SoFi Stadium in this year’s College Football Playoff National Championship (7:30 p.m. ET).
Georgia, the top-ranked team in the nation, has lived up to its reputation as being one of, if not the deepest and most talented team in the country. TCU has plenty of star power on its roster as well, despite being the smallest school to ever play in the CFP title game and a massive 12.5-point underdog, per FOX Bet.
To answer those questions, we combined both team’s projected starters to create an ultimate national championship starting 11 on both offense and defense.
Quarterback: Max Duggan, TCU
The Horned Frogs’ senior quarterback has enjoyed a standout season, throwing for 3,546 yards and 32 touchdowns, while adding 461 yards and eight scores on the ground. He was named the Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year and received the Davey O’Brien Award, while also being named the runner-up for the Heisman Trophy.
Running back: Kendre Miller, TCU
The junior back was a dominant force in TCU’s backfield throughout the 2022 season. Miller led the Horned Frogs with 1,399 rushing yards and 17 rushing touchdowns, both which ranked among the top 15 in the nation. Miller ranked second in the Big 12 in yards per carry (6.25) and topped the 100-yard rushing mark in seven games this season. The talented running back injured his knee in the first half of TCU’s Fiesta Bowl win over Michigan and is listed as questionable ahead of Monday’s game.
Wide receiver: Quentin Johnston, TCU
Johnston is a big-play wide receiver who is expected to be one of the first pass-catchers taken in April’s NFL Draft. Standing at 6-foot-4, 215 pounds, the junior wideout has the ability to stretch the field and come down with 50/50 balls thrown in his direction. He was named first-team All-Big 12 this season after hauling in 59 catches for 1,066 yards and six touchdowns. Johnston was exceptional in TCU’s Fiesta Bowl victory, catching six passes for 163 yards and a score.
Wide receiver: Ladd McConkey, Georgia
Like Miller, McConkey is also dealing with an injury heading into Monday’s game, but that doesn’t take away from the fact he enjoyed a standout sophomore campaign. The 6-foot, 185-pound wide receiver caught 53 passes for 674 yards and five touchdowns in 2022. He recorded four-plus catches in 10 of the Bulldogs’ 14 games this season.
Tight end: Brock Bowers, Georgia
Considered by many to be the top tight end in college football, Bowers is one of the most accomplished players in the nation, regardless of position. The 6-foot-4, 230-pound Bowers is a two-time All-SEC member, the 2021 SEC Freshman of the Year, a two-time All-American and the 2022 John Mackey Award winner. He hauled in a team-best 56 passes for 790 yards and six touchdowns this season.
Tight end: Darnell Washington, Georgia
It’s not every day you see a team with two dominant tight ends lined up on the field together, but that’s the case with Georgia’s Bowers and Washington. Standing at 6-foot-7, 270 pounds, Washington is one of the most physically imposing players in college football. He is an asset as both a blocker and pass-catcher, totaling 27 catches for 426 yards and two scores this season for the Bulldogs.
Offensive line: Broderick Jones, Georgia
Jones was a former five-star recruit in the 2020 class that has enjoyed an outstanding redshirt sophomore campaign, starting 12 games at left tackle and responsible for protecting Bennett’s blind side. Jones was an AP first-team All-SEC selection this year.
Offensive line: Warren McClendon, Georgia
A three-year starter at right tackle, McClendon is one of the top offensive linemen in the SEC. The 6-foot-4, 300-pound lineman has started every game at right tackle for the Bulldogs this season and was a 2022 first-team All-SEC selection.
Offensive line: Steve Avila, TCU
One of the top interior linemen in the country, Avila has been a force on TCU’s offensive line throughout his career. He is a two-time All-Big 12 selection and was named a consensus first-team All-American this season.
Offensive line: Tate Ratledge, Georgia
After missing all of last season with a foot injury he suffered on the opening drive of the year, Ratledge bounced back in a big way this season. The 6-foot-6, 315-pound Georgia native has been a staple at right guard for the Bulldogs all year.
Offensive line: Sedrick Van Pran, Georgia
Van Pran has started every game at center for the Bulldogs this season, helping pave the way for a Georgia rushing attack that is averaging 200-plus yards per game on the ground. The 6-foot-4, 310 pound redshirt sophomore was voted second-team All-SEC in 2022.
Defensive line/edge rusher: Robert Beal, Georgia
Beal is a stat-sheet stuffer, recording 22 tackles, two sacks, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery and two tackles for loss this season for the Bulldogs. He had his best game of the season in Georgia’s 50-30 win over LSU in the SEC Championship, recording four tackles, four QB hurries and a strip sack.
Defensive line: Dylan Horton, TCU
Horton has enjoyed an outstanding senior season, recording 44 tackles and a team-high 10 sacks, which ranked first in the Big 12. The 6-foot-4, 275-pound edge rusher was named honorable-mention All-Big 12 this season.
Defensive line: Jalen Carter, Georgia
Considered by many to be the most dominant interior defensive lineman in college football, Carter is a first-team All-American and could be the No. 1 pick in April’s NFL Draft. He is an imposing force in the middle of a Georgia defense that held opponents to just 12.8 points per game this season.
Defensive line: Nazir Stackhouse, Georgia
Stackhouse has started every game for the Bulldogs this season, recording 31 tackles en route to being named second-team All-SEC. The 6-foot-3, 320-pound junior played a pivotal role on a Georgia defense that held opponents to just 3 yards per carry this season, which ranked fifth in the country.
Linebacker: Dee Winters, TCU
Winters is a speedy, but undersized linebacker who has enjoyed an outstanding 2022 campaign. The 6-foot-1, 230-pound senior totaled 44 tackles, 7.5 sacks and a memorable pick-six in the Horned Frogs’ win over Michigan in the CFP semifinals. He was a first-team All-Big 12 selection in 2022.
Linebacker: Jamon Dumas-Johnson, Georgia
The 6-foot-1, 245-pound middle linebacker has enjoyed a standout sophomore season. He has recorded 66 tackles, four sacks and a forced fumble. Dumas-Johnson was a second-team All-SEC member in 2022.
Linebacker: Johnny Hodges, TCU
Hodges transferred to TCU after two years at Navy and made an immediate impact for the Horned Frogs in 2022. He totaled a team-high 81 tackles, while also adding two sacks on the season. The 6-foot-2, 240-pound junior was named second-team All-Big 12 this season.
Defensive back: Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson, TCU
You’d be hard-pressed to find a better cornerback in college football than Hodges-Tomlinson. He was the winner of the 2022 Jim Thorpe Award, which is awarded to the nation’s top defensive back. Hodges-Tomlinson isn’t a big corner by any means — listed at 5-foot-9, 177 pounds — but he has plenty of big-play ability and a knack for shutting down opposing team’s top receivers. He recorded 45 tackles, three interceptions and a forced fumble en route to being named an AP first-team All-American this season.
Defensive back: Kelee Ringo, Georgia
From a pure talent standpoint, Ringo is one of the top cornerbacks in the nation. He is a 6-foot-2, 210-pound corner with 4.3 speed, which makes him an ideal fit at the next level. He will likely have the challenge of trying to shut down Johnston, which should be a fascinating matchup. The talented sophomore had a memorable 79-yard pick-six in last year’s national title game that sealed the victory over SEC foe Alabama.
Defensive back: Christopher Smith, Georgia
Smith is one of the top defensive backs in the nation and the quarterback of Georgia’s secondary. He was named a first-team All-SEC member and was a finalist for the 2022 Bronko Nagurski Award as the nation’s top defensive player. The senior defensive back totaled 57 tackles, a sack and six interceptions for the Bulldogs this season.
Defensive back: Malaki Starks, Georgia
This talented freshman was a finalist for the 2022 Shaun Alexander Freshman of the Year Award this season. The 6-foot-1, 205-pound Starks ranked second on the team with 68 tackles, while also adding two picks in his freshman campaign.
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