College football notebook: QB Watson to enter NFL draft
With a national championship trophy in tow, Clemson quarterback Deshaun Watson is ready to take his game to the next level.
After leading the Tigers to a thrilling 35-31 win over Alabama in the College Football Playoff Championship Game on Monday night, Watson announced he will forgo his senior season at Clemson and enter the 2017 NFL Draft.
"It's my time to go," said Watson, who was named the game's offensive MVP after completing 36 of 56 passes for 420 yards and three touchdowns while adding 43 yards and another score on the ground to account for 463 total yards.
-- Clemson rose two spots and leapfrogged Alabama in the final AP Top 25 Poll after the Tigers pulled off a thrilling victory over the Crimson Tide.
Alabama (14-1) fell to second after its last-second loss on Watson's 2-yard touchdown pass to Hunter Renfrow, which gave Clemson (14-1) it first national championship victory since 1981.
USC (10-3) jumped six spots to No. 3 after its 52-49 shootout victory over Penn State in the Rose Bowl last Monday. The Nittany Lions (11-3) dropped two spots to No. 7.
-- Steve Sarkisian's first day on the job as Alabama's offensive coordinator did not go as planned.
Sarkisian was promoted to the top playcalling role one week before the championship game against Clemson after coach Nick Saban decided to let outgoing offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin go early.
Despite an inconsistent outing for true freshman quarterback Jalen Hurts and a Crimson Tide offense that stalled for portions of the team's eventual 35-31 loss to the Tigers, Sarkisian insists that Kiffin's departure had little impact on the outcome.
-- Alabama running back Bo Scarbrough sustained a broken bone in his lower right leg during the second half of Monday night's loss to Clemson, ESPN reports.
Scarbrough was injured on a rushing attempt with 2:19 remaining in the third quarter as he was dragged down from behind. He walked to the sideline under his own power, but was later spotted limping to the locker room.
Before departing, Scarbrough was relied upon heavily as the Crimson Tide's primary offensive weapon. He totaled a game-high 93 rushing yards and scored two touchdowns on 16 carries.
-- Michigan all-purpose star Jabrill Peppers is declaring for the NFL draft, a decision he shared with Sports Illustrated.
Peppers, who had two years of college eligibility remaining, projects as a safety at the NFL level after playing outside linebacker this season. He also is a stellar kickoff and punt returner who occasionally lined up on offense for the Wolverines.
Peppers finished fifth in the Heisman Trophy balloting this season. He is rated as the No. 13 overall prospect despite evaluators not having enough film on him at either safety or linebacker.