Bowl season for college football is underway, and after Jan. 1, the National Championship picture will be a bit clearer.
Three of the schools in the College Football Playoff are stationed in the southeast, and the fourth team — Oklahoma — often recruits in Georgia. This makes the playoff populated with players from the Peach State.
Narrowing it down, there are 13 players from Gwinnett County who are in the playoff this year. Georgia leads the way with eight players from Gwinnett, while Alabama has none.
As you’re watching the Sugar and Rose bowls on New Year’s Day, see if you can pick out Gwinnett County natives:
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• Chase Brice: freshman, quarterback — Loganville, Grayson
Brice hasn’t played for the Tigers this year, but led Grayson to a state title in 2016. His uncle, Mickey Conn, coaches defensive backs at Clemson. A four-star recruit, he also held offers from Miami, Boston College, Syracuse, Michigan State and others.
• Jack Swinney: redshirt senior, wide receiver — Lawrenceville, Brookwood
A walk-on and the nephew of head coach Dabo Swinney, Jack has caught two passes for six yards this season.
• Ryan Carter: graduate, cornerback — Loganville, Grayson
A starter on Clemson’s national championship team, Carter has continued his production, tallying 30 tackles, three interceptions and a forced fumble this season. Carter was just a two-star recruit in high school, but has developed into a valuable piece of Clemson’s defense.
• Mitch Hyatt: junior, tackle — Suwanee, North Gwinnett
At 6-foot-5, Hyatt has been a starter since he was a freshman. A five-star prospect and All-American, he picked Clemson over dozens of other offers, including Florida, Georgia, Auburn, Ohio State, Michigan and USC. He was named as the ACC’s top blocker this season, and USA Today tabbed him as one of the 10 best offensive tackle prospects for the upcoming NFL Draft.
• Lorenzo Carter: senior, linebacker — Norcross, Norcross
Carter has played in every game for the Dawgs since he was a freshman. This season he has 48 tackles, four sacks and three forced fumbles. At 6-foot-6 and 242 pounds, he was a five-star recruit in high school and signed with Georgia over Alabama, Notre Dame, Florida State, Florida and more.
• Deangelo Gibbs: freshman, defensive back — Oxford, Grayson
Gibbs has appeared in six games as a rookie, notching three tackles. DawgNation reported on Dec. 19 that he was away from the team with a “medical issue.”
• Isaac Nauta: sophomore, tight end — Buford, IMG Academy
The 6-foot-4 pass catcher and blocker has started in eight games this season, paving the way for the Dawgs’ running backs and hauling in nine passes for 114 yards and two scores. Nauta was ranked as the top tight end in the country in high school and signed with Georgia over Florida State, Michigan and others. After Georgia beat Auburn in the SEC title game, Nauta trolled Gus Malzahn, throwing his “dog crap” line back at him.
• Robert Beal Jr.: freshman, linebacker — Lawrenceville, Peachtree Ridge
Ranked as the No. 2 defensive end in the country, Beal has not yet played for the Bulldogs this year.
• Reggie Carter: senior, linebacker — Snellville, South Gwinnett
Carter missed a few games this season after suffering a concussion, but has bounced back and has tallied 27 tackles so far this season. Carter is practicing at inside linebacker with the first team ahead of the Rose Bowl.
• Nick Moore: junior, fullback — Snellville, Brookwood
After a four-year career in the Boston Red Sox minor league system, Moore came back to football. He’s played in nine games since enrolling at UGA in 2015, and this season has handled some long snapping duties for the Dawgs.
• Michael D’Angola: junior, punter — Suwanee, North Gwinnett
After spending his first year of college football at Towson, D’Angola spent a year at Georgia Perimeter College and then wound up at UGA. He has not played in a game this season.
• Justin Young: redshirt sophomore, defensive end — Loganville, Grayson
Young has appeared in four games this season, notching one tackle-for-loss. A three-star prospect in high school, he picked Georgia over Clemson and Marshall.
• Orlando Brown: redshirt junior, tackle — Duluth, Peachtree Ridge
Brown has started in 39 consecutive games for the Sooners at left tackle, and for the second straight year was an All-American and the Big 12 Offensive Lineman of the Year. His 6-foot-8, 345-pound frame has paved the way for 2,807 rushing yards by the Sooners, which led the Big 12. USA Today projects him as the third best offensive tackle prospect in the upcoming NFL Draft.