2012 BCS Championship Game

Alabama vs. LSU: Key Players to Watch in Tonight's Epic Battle

TUSCALOOSA, AL - NOVEMBER 05:  Eric Reid #1 of the LSU Tigers against Michael Williams #89 of the Alabama Crimson Tide at Bryant-Denny Stadium on November 5, 2011 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
Alex KayCorrespondent IJanuary 9, 2012

The 2011 BCS Championship Game is mere hours away, so here is a quick primer on what players you need to be watching out for—whether you are interested in their potential to join your team via the NFL draft or just interested in seeing superstars on the field tonight.

 

LSU

Jordan Jefferson

ATLANTA, GA - DECEMBER 03:  Jordan Jefferson #9 of the LSU Tigers against the Georgia Bulldogs during the 2011 SEC Championship Game at Georgia Dome on December 3, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Jefferson was suspended for the first four games of the season for an alleged bar fight. He gradually earned the starting job back from Jarrett Lee as the year dragged on.

He’ll be under center to start the game tonight and will most likely take the majority of snaps, barring injury.

The young man can make plays with his arm and also has the ability to run the option.

 

Tyrann Mathieu

You may better know him as the “Honey Badger,” but there is nothing sweet about his physical game.

Mathieu is a dynamic kick returner and leads the team in tackles on defense from his cornerback position.

 

Morris Claiborne

This kid is a stud and will be a top pick in the draft this spring.

He has all the tools needed to succeed at the next level. He'll be a force tonight against the Crimson Tide.

 

Rueben Randle

BATON ROUGE, LA - NOVEMBER 25:  Rueben Randle #2 of the Louisiana State University Tigers is tackled by Tramain Thomas #5 of the Arkansas Razorbacks at Tiger Stadium on November 25, 2011 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

This wide receiver is the Tigers' big-play threat on offense.

He’s got 50 receptions for 904 yards so far this season and is looking to add a couple more tonight.

The Tide stifled him in their first appearance, which should provide enough motivation for a great game.

 

Alabama

Trent Richardson

AUBURN, AL - NOVEMBER 26:  Trent Richardson #3 of the Alabama Crimson Tide rushes upfield against the Auburn Tigers at Jordan-Hare Stadium on November 26, 2011 in Auburn, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The Heisman runner-up needs to have a big game and find running lanes if he wants to become a two-time champion during his storied career at Alabama.

He’s going to be the first RB off the board in the draft. He has the size, speed and vision needed from an elite back.

 

Dre Kirkpatrick

This lanky cornerback is often compared to Antonio Cromartie—and for good reason.

They both have incredible size and fluidity and can cover anyone with their speed.

 

Courtney Upshaw

If Alabama wants to get to Jordan Jefferson, it all starts with the play of Upshaw.

He’s a great, physical pass rusher who will never quit on a play and has a motor that will not stop running.

 

Dont’a Hightower

AUBURN, AL - NOVEMBER 26:  Dont'a Hightower #30 of the Alabama Crimson Tide calls the defense against the Auburn Tigers at Jordan-Hare Stadium on November 26, 2011 in Auburn, Alabama.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Hightower reminds people of Ray Lewis for his physical play in the middle and ruthlessness he brings to the game.

He may not have the fastest sideline to sideline speed, but if he catches someone, they're going to be in for a hurting.

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