Rutgers' Lorenzo Waters will be pro-Alabama during College Football Playoff
PISCATAWAY — Rutgers' season will have ended six days earlier, but Lorenzo Waters will still have some rooting interests when the inaugural College Football Playoff unfolds Jan 1.
That's because Waters' high school teammate, Alabama lineman Arie Kouandjio, will be taking on Ohio State in the Sugar Bowl. It will be part of the first system the NCAA uses to decide a national champion by playoff.
"I'm definitely excited for him," said Waters, part of the last class that missed out on a bowl game. "Every time he's on TV I watch. I keep up with him. He's a busy guy, so I try to stay in contact when I can. I'm definitely going to be rooting for him."
DeMatha Catholic, Waters' alma mater, is one of the nation's top football programs. At one point it had produced the most active players in the NFL, including the Miami Dolphins' Cameron Wake.
Kouandjio's younger brother, Cyrus, was one of the top-rated lineman coming out of high school and now plays for the Buffalo Bills.
"We hung out a lot, him and a couple of my other teammates at other colleges," Waters said. "We're pretty close."
The Crimson Tide's opponent, Ohio State, earned the fourth and final seed after winning the Big Ten championship in impressive fashion. It helped fulfill head coach Kyle Flood's vision of a Big Ten team earning a seat at the table.
"Well, the top four kind of played out like I thought it would," Flood said. "I've been telling recruits, and people have asked me for a long time now. I felt like an undefeated or one‑loss Big Ten champion would be in the final four. It's just hard for me to foresee a scenario where that wouldn't be the case."