With two players at Alabama and one player at Georgia, the Central-Phenix City program was well-represented in Monday’s national title game.
When the night was over, Georgia receiver Jackson Meeks had the honor of extending an incredibly special streak for his high school alma mater.
Meeks and the Bulldogs’ 33-18 victory over the Crimson Tide meant Central has had an alum on the FBS national championship team for the fifth straight season. The streak started with Alabama and linebacker Markail Benton in 2017 followed by Clemson and receiver Justyn Ross in 2018, LSU and quarterback Peter Parrish in 2019 and Alabama and offensive lineman Javion Cohen in 2020.
Meeks dressed out but did not play in Monday’s game. He finished his true freshman season with three receptions for 44 yards while appearing in nine games.
Cohen was back again with the Crimson Tide this year and played a much bigger role as the team’s starting left guard. Walk-on wide receiver DJ Rias was the other Red Devil on the Crimson Tide roster.
Here’s a roundup of what other local stars did during the bowl season:
Avery Atkins, LSU – Atkins had two touchbacks on three kickoffs and had three punts for 135 yards – an average of 45 yards per punt – in the Tigers’ 42-20 loss to Kansas State. Atkins announced on Jan. 6.
Trey Elston, Auburn – Elston had one tackle and one quarterback hurry in the Tigers’ 17-13 loss to Houston. Elston announced on Jan. 7 he is entering the transfer portal.
Griffin Speaks, Baylor – Speaks played but did not record any statistics in the Bears’ 21-7 victory over Ole Miss.
Javion Cohen, Alabama – Cohen started at left guard in the Crimson Tide’s 33-18 loss to Georgia.
Mason Cook, Georgia State – Cook played on the offensive line in the Panthers’ 51-20 victory over Ball State.
Terrell Gordon, Georgia State – Gordon had one tackle in the Panthers’ 51-20 victory over Ball State.
PJ Ramsey, Air Force – Ramsey played but did not record any statistics in the Falcons’ 31-28 victory over Louisville.
Jahlil Ryles, MTSU – Ryles played on the offensive line in the Blue Raiders’ 31-24 victory over Toledo.
Kye Robichaux, Western Kentucky – Robichaux had 11 carries for 67 yards and one touchdown and had one reception for 33 yards in the Hilltoppers’ 59-38 victory over Appalachian State.
Trikweze Bridges, Oregon – Bridges had seven tackles and one tackle for loss in the Ducks’ 47-32 loss to Oklahoma.
Kristian Story, Alabama – Story played but did not record any statistics in the Crimson Tide’s 33-18 loss to Georgia.
Charlie Benton, UAB – Benton had one tackle in the Blazers’ 31-28 victory over BYU.
Will Boler III, UAB – Boler had four tackles in the Blazers’ 31-28 victory over BYU.
Devin Guice, Auburn – Guice had three tackles in the Tigers’ 17-13 loss to Houston.