CFP National Championship: Staff picks, locals playing for Georgia, Alabama

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Anthony Averett, a Woodbury graduate, starts at cornerback for Alabama.

There’s an SEC party at Monday night’s championship and some young men from the area are serving as co-hosts.

Georgia freshman running back D’Andre Swift, a St. Joseph’s Prep product, is the most notable. He gets mixed in behind seniors Nick Chubb and Sony Michel, each of whom had more than 1,000 rushing yards.

Swift is third on the team with 603 yards.  His 64-yard touchdown run essentially clinched the SEC Championship win over Auburn. He had just four carries for six yards in the semifinal victory over Oklahoma.

Frank Fitzpatrick: Swift takes the fast lane from SJ Prep to Georgia

Also for Georgia, junior wide receiver Ahkil Crumpton (West Catholic) has five receptions this season, including a 78-yard touchdown catch against Georgia Tech in the regular-season finale. Freshman Mark Webb (Archbishop Wood) plays on special teams for the Bulldogs (13-1) and redshirt sophomore Sam Madden (Barnegat H.S.) is a reserve offensive lineman.

For Alabama (12-1), starting cornerback Anthony Averett (Woodbury High School) already has his degree and recently was invited to participate in the Senior Bowl on Jan. 27. Averett (6-0, 185) has played 28 games over the last two seasons.

Archives: Perseverance pays off for Anthony Averett

While Averett is on NFL radars, Swift is just getting started. Georgia head coach Kirby Smart raved about him recently, pointing out that Swift even has the best hands on the team. Not bad for a running back.

“He’s going to be a force to be reckoned with in my opinion in the SEC for a long time because he’s such a competitive kid and he’s done really well in school, as well,” the coach said. “So we’re proud of him and think that coming from where he came from – that school system – did a great job, one of the most prestigious schools there is in the country.”

CFP Championship Game

Monday, 8 p.m./At Atlanta

TV: ESPN (Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit, Maria Taylor, Tom Rinaldi).

Alabama (-4) Georgia (O/U: 45.5)

STAFF PICKS

Ed Barkowitz Alabama
Marcus Hayes Alabama
Joe Juliano Georgia
Mike Kern Alabama
David Murphy Alabama
Marc Narducci Alabama
EJ Smith Alabama

SEASON RECORDS

Best Bets Overall Pct.
EJ Smith  8-10 134-116 .536
Joe Juliano 9-8-1 129-121 .516
Ed Barkowitz 9-8-1 128-122 .512
David Murphy  11-7 125-125 .500
Mike Kern 9-9 123-127 .492
Marcus Hayes 14-4 119-131 .476
Marc Narducci 10-8 112-138 .448