Ohio State defensive back Wade not losing sight of Metchie III's production with Tide

·2 min read

The Ohio State Buckeyes haven't lost sight of Canadian receiver John Metchie III's place in Alabama's high-octane offence.

Top-ranked Alabama (12-0) faces No. 3 Ohio State (7-0) in U.S. college football's championship game Monday night. And with both offences averaging over 40 points per contest, the expectation is for plenty of fireworks in Miami.

Receiver DeVonta Smith (105 catches, 1,641 yards, 20 TDs) is the big-play threat in Alabama's offence. Earlier this week, Smith captured the Heisman Trophy as U.S. college football's top player, the first receiver to do so since 1991.

The Tide's offence also includes quarterback Mac Jones (4,036 passing yards, 36 TDs, four interceptions) — who was a Heisman finalist — and running back Najee Harris (1,387 yards, 24 TDs). The unit could also be bolstered by the return of speedy receiver Jaylen Waddle (25 catches, 557 yards, four TDs) who was the team's third-leading receiver despite being out since Oct. 24 with an ankle injury.

Metchie III, who grew up in Brampton, Ont., enjoyed a solid first season as a Tide starter. The six-foot-one, 195-pound sophomore finished second on the team in receiving with 47 catches for 835 yard and six TDs.

And OSU defensive back Shaun Wade, for one, has taken notice.

"He's bigger than a lot of receivers that I see.," Wade told reporters during a videoconference this week. "But he's a great player, very quick step, fast, will block, so you've got to get off blocks with him.

"He's a great player and he's going to have a good future for him, too."

Alabama is a 7.5-point favourite in the game as it chases its six national title with Nick Saban as head coach.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 8, 2021.

The Canadian Press