Ohio State and Oregon will square off for the National Championship trophy in a little over 24 hours. It'll be the first time that Urban Meyer and Mark Helfrich battled on the gridiron, but they have dueled on the recruiting trail. Let's take a look back at the players that the Scarlet and Gray offered in high school but eventually winded up selecting Oregon as their collegiate home.
Devon Allen, WR, Brophy College (AZ)
Ohio State is known, much like Oregon, for wanting speed on the roster, so of course they were interested in Phoenix native Devon Allen. The four-star prospect in 2013 is a track star and reportedly ran a 4.48 before enrolling with the Ducks. In his senior season, Allen was recognized as a Semper Fiedelis All-American and the nations 31st overall WR in his class and fourth best player in the grand canyon state.
After a redshirt season in 2013, Allen quickly became an important piece for Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota. Allen has recorded 684 receiving yards on the season, second to only Byron Marshall, and leads the team in receiving touchdowns with seven.
Unfortunately for Mariota and Oregon, they will be without their second leading receiver when they square off with Ohio State tomorrow night. Allen suffered a knee injury on the opening kickoff in the 59- 20 rout of Florida State.
Jalen Brown, WR, Mountain Point (AZ)
Another four-star prospect that Mark Helfrich and Oregon added to their talented roster. Brown, a Phoenix native like Allen, was graded as the nations 106th overall player. The 6'2, 197-pounder was also ranked as the 15th best WR in his class and the third best player from the state of Arizona. Brown held an offer from Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes, as well as Arizona, Arizona State, Boise State, Florida State, Michigan, Michigan State, Oklahoma, Ole Miss, UCLA, Wisconsin and others. The former Mountain Ponte (AZ) pass catcher is currently redshirting this season.
Cameron Hunt, OT, Centennial (CA)
This Under Armour All-American in 2013 was one that the Buckeyes were hoping to flip from California late in the process. In July of 2012, Hunt announced his commitment to the Golden Bears and Sonny Dykes. Though he was pledged to the PAC 12 program, that didn't stop both Mark Helfrich and Urban Meyer from going after him. In late December of that year, Meyer made a visit to Centennial High School in California and tried to convince the four-star tackle to visit the Columbus campus. However, that visit never did happen and Hunt winded up making his decision between Cal and Oregon. On National Signing Day, the 24th ranked tackle signed to play in Eugene.
Ohio State fans will see Hunt tomorrow, as he is the starting right guard for Oregon. The 6'5, 275-pounder will hope to create running lanes for both Freeman and Tyner, while also keeping Marcus Mariota on his feet. His job won't be an easy task however. Hunt will have his hands full going against the talented Buckeye defensive line that includes Michael Bennett, Joey Bosa and Adolphus Washington, to name a few.
Tony James, RB, Gainesville (FL)
Much like Brown, Tony James has not seen action this year as he is redshirting as well. But the Ducks got James over a bevy of offers from some top programs. The sunshine state running back was being courted by Auburn, Florida, Florida State, Miami, Nebraska, Ohio State and a few others. James was also graded as a four-star player but will unfortunately have to wait a few years to showcase his abilities, most likely, with the talent of Oregon backs Royce Freeman and Thomas Tyner.
Mattrell McGraw, SAF, John Curtis (LA)
The nations 28th ranked safety in the 2014 class was wanted by all four programs that made the inaugural College Football Playoff, as well as 37 others. The primary recruiter for the three-star prospect on Ohio State's staff was Everett Withers, who is now head coaching at James Madison University in Virginia. Despite the Buckeyes showing interest throughout the process, they were never able to secure any sort of visit from the New Orleans prospect. McGraw only made official visits to Texas A&M and Oregon before ultimately deciding to be a Duck on the eve of National Signing Day 2014. Just like Brown and James, McGraw is also being redshirted by this season.
Dwayne Stanford, WR, Taft (OH)
Coming out of high school, Stanford was graded as a four-star prospect in the 2012 recruiting class and the 20th best player in the state of Ohio. Among the list of programs that extended an offer to the 6'4, 190-pounder were Alabama, Florida State, Georgia, LSU, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State and many more.
Stanford was definitely a prospect that the Buckeyes were interested in adding to the class. In late October of 2011, the Taft High School (OH) receiver made an official visit to Columbus. Despite the fact that he was an in-state guy and teammates with standout DL Adolphus Washington, who was committed to Ohio State, Stanford made the decision to head to Eugene and play for, at the time, Chip Kelly and Oregon.
On the season, Stanford has piled up 578 yards and 6 touchdowns on 39 receptions. With the injuries to Devon Allen and Pharaoh Brown, along with the suspension of Darren Carrington, the Cincinnati native will likely have to play a bigger role in the offense on Monday against the Buckeyes.