ATLANTA (AP) — Alabama’s newest group of hotshot recruits delivered on school soccer’s largest stage.
And the Crimson Tide wanted each huge play from them.
Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa capped a second-half comeback with a forty one-yard landing cross in extra time to fellow freshman DeVonta Smith in Monday night time’s 26-23 win over Georgia to offer the Tide a fifth nationwide championship in 9 years.
The youth motion began properly earlier than that play. It featured runs by Najee Harris and a landing reception by Henry Ruggs III with assist from an enormous catch by Jerry Jeudy.
“When the sport that mattered most got here round and we obtained alternatives, we made probably the most out of it,” Harris stated.
The outgoing stars handed the torch to the subsequent wave somewhat sooner than anticipated.
Tagovailoa changed starter Jalen Hurts to start out the second half with Alabama down thirteen-zero. He handed for 166 yards and three touchdowns and flashed some operating potential, too.
Harris ran for sixty four yards on six carries and delivered some huge fourth-quarter runs. He had a sixteen-yarder and a 35-yarder to arrange a area objective and assist maintain Alabama alive.
Ruggs caught a 6-yard landing move within the third quarter. Jeudy had a 20-yard catch on Alabama’s tying landing drive late within the fourth.
Then got here Smith and Tagovailoa and a remaining freshman connection on second and 26 after a sack.
“I checked out Tua and stated, ‘Belief me,’ and he nodded his head,” Smith stated. “Once I noticed they have been in Cowl 2, I knew we had an opportunity.”
The freshmen have been matter of reality about their accomplishments. Making performs and profitable titles is why the prized recruits got here to Alabama, in any case.
“Once they simply referred to as anyone’s quantity, we have been prepared,” Smith stated. “That’s that everyone comes right here to do. When your quantity known as, you’re right here simply to make performs.”
The gamers who performed pivotal roles in getting Alabama to the title recreation — like Hurts and tailback Damien Harris — didn’t appear to thoughts sharing the highlight with the younger ‘uns.
Tagovailoa, Najee Harris and Jeudy have been all 5-star recruits becoming a member of the fold of a workforce that reloads yearly.
“We anticipate stuff like that,” Damien Harris stated. “Regardless of who you’re, regardless of how lengthy you’re right here, it doesn’t matter what your expertise is, everytime you get right here you’re anticipated to play to a regular. We’ve acquired loads of younger guys that have been in a position to try this this yr and on this recreation. We had a whole lot of older guys are available and contribute as…