College Football Game Previews: National Championship

Michigan vs. Washington; Monday, Jan. 8, 7:30 PM ET ESPN

The Prospects:


  • QB J.J. McCarthy, No. 9
  • RB Blake Corum, No. 2
  • DT Kris Jenkins, No. 94
  • DE Jaylen Harrell, No. 32
  • DE Josaiah Stewart, No. 32
  • WR Roman Wilson, No. 1
  • WR Cornelius Johnson, No. 6


  • QB Michael Penix Jr., No. 9
  • RB Dillon Johnson, No. 7
  • DE Bralen Trice, No. 8
  • OLB Zion Tupuolo-Fetui, No. 4
  • WR Rome Odunze, No. 1
  • WR Ja’Lynn Polk, No. 2
  • WR Jalen McMillan, No. 11
  • OT Troy Fautanu, No. 55
  • TE Devin Culp, No. 83

The Matchups: The National Championship will be important for the draft momentum of both J.J. McCarthy and Michael Penix Jr. Whichever one leads his team to a win will have the added stature of having led his program to a championship. Penix and McCarthy both have some flaws as prospects, so producing a good tape would definitely be beneficial.

Odunze looks likely to be a first-round pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, while Polk could be a sleeper steal on Day 2 of the 2024 NFL Draft. Fautanu could join Odunze in Round 1 or slip to Day 2, so he could use a good tape from taking on Michigan’s talented defensive line. Jenkins has a shot to be a first-round pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, and it will be interesting to see if he can use power to get the better of Fautanu if and when they line up against each other. Trice and Corum are also potential second-day picks to watch in this contest.