College Football Playoff: How Rivals rated each team’s roster in HS

The College Football Playoff games will be played Jan. 1 so there’s no better time to break down the top four teams by star rating with a look also at how many players on each roster came from the transfer portal.

NO. 1 MICHIGAN

Blake Corum

Blake Corum (© Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports)

If there is a study in having a roster not filled with five-stars or portal transfers but with continuity and veteran playmakers that can win the national championship, it would be Michigan.

Only two players on the entire roster were five-stars. There are slightly more three-stars than four-stars. But the Wolverines have groomed this roster for this moment and there are also some players, including quarterback J.J. McCarthy and running back Blake Corum, who should have received more five-star consideration as high school prospects.

Five-stars: (2) Will Johnson, Myles Hinton

Four-stars: (44) Darrius Clemons, Blake Corum, Fredrick Moore, Keon Sabb, Karmello English, Cornelius Johnson, Donovan Edwards, Makari Paige, Derrick Moore, Tyler Morris, J.J. McCarthy, Zeke Berry, Jack Tuttle, Kody Jones, Semaj Bridgeman, Braiden McGregor, Colston Loveland, Jyaire Hill, Kalel Mullings, Cole Cabana, Junior Colson, Rayshaun Benny, Quinten Johnson, Jimmy Rolder, Jaydon Hood, Cameron Calhoun, Amir Herring, Greg Crippen, Karsen Barnhart, Kechaun Bennett, Trente Jones, Mason Graham, Giovanni El-Hadi, Raheem Anderson, Zak Zinter, Evan Link, Tristan Bounds, Andrew Gentry, Trevor Keegan, Jeffrey Persi, Semaj Morgan, Cristian Dixon, Roderick Pierce III, Enow Etta

Three-stars: (46) Mike Sainristil, Amorion Walker, Roman Wilson, Jayden Denegal, Micah Pollard, Josaiah Stewart, Brandyn Hillman, Rod Moore, Alex Orji, Kendrick Bell, DJ Waller, Ernest Hausmann, Marlin Klein, Ja’Den McBurrows, Tommy Doman, Jason Hewlett, Tavierre Dunlap, Michael Barrett, CJ Stokes, Myles Pollard, Tyler McLaurin, Benjamin Hall, Joey Velazquez, Jaylen Harrell, German Green, TJ Guy, Deakon Tonielli, Hayden Moore, Brooks Bahr, Nathan Efobi, Breeon Ishmail, Drake Nugent, LaDarius Henderson, Reece Atteberry, Connor Jones, Kenneth Grant, Eamonn Dennis, Zack Marshall, Matt Hibner, AJ Barner, Alessandro Lorenzetti, Aymeric Koumba, Cameron Brandt, Ikechukwu Iwunnah, Kris Jenkins, Cam Goode

Two-stars: (3) Josh Wallace, Dominick Guidice, Adam Samaha

Portal: (10) Josaiah Stewart, Josh Wallace, Jack Tuttle, Drake Nugent, LaDarius Henderson, Andrew Gentry, Myles Hinton, Dale Chesson, AJ Barner, Cam Goode

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*****

NO. 2 WASHINGTON

Michael Penix, Jr.

Michael Penix, Jr. (© Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)

Washington is the only team in the College Football Playoff without a five-star recruit on the entire team but an easy argument could be made that some could have earned that ranking. Quarterback Michael Penix has put up huge numbers. Running back Dillon Johnson had more than 1,000 yards this season. Wide receiver Rome Odunze has been unreal. Dominique Hampton has 93 tackles and two picks so far. Those would be some to argue for.

What else is unique about the Huskies is that coach Kalen DeBoer might not be the biggest name in the sport – that would be Nick Saban – but DeBoer has won more than 90 percent of his games during his head coaching career. At Sioux Falls, DeBoer was an amazing 67-3. His two years with the Huskies are the best in program history dating back to 1916. DeBoer knows how to win and win big, and he’s proven it at every stop.

Five-stars: None

Four-stars: (27) Giles Jackson, Rome Odunze, Caleb Presley, Rashid Williams, Germie Bernard, Bralen Trice, Michael Penix, Ralen Goforth, Austin Mack, Jalen McMillan, Kamren Fabiculanan, Curley Reed, Asa Turner, Daniyel Ngata, Cameron Davis, Sam Adams, Voi Tunuufi, Jacob Bandes, Geirean Hatchett, Landen Hatchett, Nathaniel Kalepo, Roger Rosengarten, Julius Buelow, Ryan Otton, Quentin Moore, Tuli Letuligasenoa, Faatui Tuitele

Three-stars: (45) Jaivion Green, Jabbar Muhammad, Ja’Lynn Polk, Zion Tupuola-Fetui, Richard Newton, Dominique Hampton, Dillon Johnson, Will Nixon, Thaddeus Dixon, Alphonzo Tuputala, Denzel Boston, Tristan Dunn, William Haskell, Deven Bryant, Vincent Holmes, Darren Barkins, Tybo Rogers, Dyson McCutcheon, Leroy Bryant, Makell Esteen, Elijah Jackson, Diesel Gordon, Jordan Whitney, Lance Holtzclaw, Carson Bruener, Maurice Heims, Anthony James, Jacob Lane, Drew Fowler, Troy Fautanu, Zachary Henning, Gaard Memmelaar, MJ Ale, Soane Faasolo, Jalen Klemm, Parker Brailsford, Kahlee Tafai, Robert Wyrsch, Elishah Jackett, Matteo Mele, Devin Culp, Keith Reynolds, Elinneus Davis, Jayvon Parker, Armon Parker

Two-stars: (4) Davon Banks, Seki Asoau-Afoa, Samuel Peacock, Jaden Green

Portal: (14) Giles Jackson, Jabbar Muhammad, Ja’Lynn Polk, Germie Bernard, Dillon Johnson, Will Nixon, Michael Penix, Ralen Goforth, William Haskell, Zach Durfee, Darren Barkins, Daniyel Ngata, Jalen Klemm, Braydon Bruener

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*****

NO. 3 TEXAS

T'Vondre Sweat

T’Vondre Sweat (© Aaron E. Martinez/American-Statesman / USA TODAY NETWORK)

Texas went to Alabama and won by 10 points in early September, a statement win for the Longhorns. While there were some close calls, Texas finished impressively with a 50-point victory over Texas Tech and then a 49-21 blowout of Oklahoma State to win the Big 12 championship.

Quinn Ewers was the No. 1 prospect in the 2021 class. Arch Manning was the No. 1 prospect in the 2023 class. The Longhorns also have some four-stars who could have arguably been higher in the rankings, including running back CJ Baxter, offensive lineman Kelvin Banks and others.

Five-stars: (6) Anthony Hill Jr., Ja’Tavion Sanders, Johntay Cook, Quinn Ewers, Arch Manning, Devon Campbell

Four-stars: (39) Justice Finkley, Xavier Worthy, Derek Williams, Jaylon Guilbeau, CJ Baxter, Austin Jordan, Malik Muhammad, Ryan Watts, Keilan Robinson, Terrance Brooks, Jalen Catalon, DeAndre Moore, Jordan Whittington, J’Mond Tapp, Liona Lefau, Ryan Niblett, Kitan Crawford, Jaydon Blue, Jonathon Brooks, Warren Roberson, Jelani McDonald, Jerrin Thompson, David Gbenda, Derion Gullette, Vernon Broughton, Tausili Akana, Cole Hutson, Cameron Williams, Jake Majors, Neto Umeozulu, Jaydon Chatman, Kelvin Banks, Malik Agbo, Gunnar Helm, Ethan Burke, Colton Vasek, Jaray Bledsoe, Alfred Collins, Sydir Mitchell

Three-stars: (29) Casey Cain, Gavin Holmes, X’avion Brice, Charles Wright, S’maje Burrell, Savion Red, Jahdae Barron, Tre Wisner, Ryan Sanborn, Billy Walton, Morice Blackwell, Jaylan Ford, Aaron Bryant, Sawyer Goram-Welch, Connor Robertson, Christian Jones, Payton Kirkland, Max Merril, Trevor Goosby, Hayden Conner, Andre Cojoe, Connor Stroh, Juan Davis, Spencer Shannon, Will Randle, Barryn Sorrell, Byron Murphy, T’Vondre Sweat, Trill Carter

Two-stars: (2) Isaiah Neyor, Lance St. Louis

Portal: (11) Quinn Ewers, Adonai Mitchell, Ryan Watts, Keilan Robinson, Gavin Holmes, Isaiah Neyor, Jalen Catalon, Ryan Sanborn, Trill Carter, Dorian Black, Gabriel Lozano

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*****

NO. 4 ALABAMA

Jalen Milroe

Jalen Milroe (© Gary Cosby Jr.-USA TODAY Sports)

Alabama was not supposed to be here.

Georgia was a five-point favorite against the Crimson Tide in the SEC championship but Alabama won in convincing fashion to earn the fourth seed in the College Football Playoff.

At the beginning of the season, this looked impossible. The Crimson Tide lost by 10 to Texas in Tuscaloosa. Then they looked sloppy in a win over South Florida, juggling quarterbacks and struggling on offense. But changes were made along the way, quarterback Jalen Milroe stepped up and the defense has been phenomenal all season.

But in terms of a loaded roster, Alabama is absolutely supposed to be here.

The Crimson Tide have more five-stars on their roster than the other three teams combined. They are loaded with 58 four-stars, as well, which is 14 more than the next closest (Michigan) among the playoff teams.

The Alabama roster is filled with elite players on both sides of the ball, and that’s one reason the Crimson Tide are always in the hunt for team recruiting championships – and the national championship.

Five-stars: (12) Kool-Aid McKinstry, Caleb Downs, Dallas Turner, Desmond Ricks, Jihaad Campbell, Keon Keeley, Jeremiah Alexander, Chris Braswell, Yhonzae Pierre, Elijah Pritchett, JC Latham, Kadyn Proctor

Four-stars: (58) Jase McClellan, Terrion Arnold, Jermaine Burton, Jalen Milroe, Kristian Story, Roydell Williams, Kobe Prentice, Devonta Smith, Eli Holstein, Malik Benson, Antonio Kite, Dylan Lonergan, Cole Adams, Malachi Moore, Jalen Hale, Ty Simpson, Isaiah Bond, Trezmen Marshall, Shazz Preston, Keanu Koht, Kendrick Law, Earl Little, Justice Haynes, Jaren Hamilton, Emmanuel Henderson, Jahlil Hurley, Richard Young, Jamarion Miller, Tony Mitchell, Justin Jefferson, Deontae Lawson, Hunter Osborne, Quandarrius Robinson, Ian Jackson, Kendrick Blackshire, Shawn Murphy, Damon Payne, James Smith, Jaquavious Russaw, Timothy Smith, Tyler Booker, Miles McVay, Roc Montgomery, James Brockermeyer, Terrence Ferguson, Darrian Dalcourt, Olaus Alinen, Wilkin Formby, Amari Niblack, Ty Lockwood, Jordan Renaud, Jaheim Oatis, Justin Eboigbe, Jah-Marien Latham, Edric Hill, Monkey Goodwine, Tim Keenan, Khurtiss Perry

Three-stars: (10) Will Reichard, Brayson Hubbard, Jake Pope, Conor Talty, Robbie Ouzts, Seth McLaughlin, Jaeden Roberts, CJ Dippre, Danny Lewis, Miles Kitselman

Two-stars: (2) Jaylen Key, Trey Amos

Portal: (5) Jermaine Burton, Jaylen Key, Trey Amos, Trezmen Marshall, CJ Dippre

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