West Point alum to play in CFB Championship Game

Staff Writer

West Point alumnus and University of Alabama redshirt freshman offensive tackle Scott Lashley will be on the sidelines tomorrow night for his second national championship game with the Crimson Tide. Lashley will be looking to capture his first national championship ring with Alabama, as the Tide lost to Clemson 35-31 in the title game last year.

Lashley was a two-year starter on the offensive line for Chris Chambless’ Green Wave team in 2014 and 2015 and even played some tight end his junior year. He was a consensus four-star recruit and finished ranked 140 in the ESPN 300. Lashley was ranked as the No. 15 tackle by 247Sports and was ranked as the No. 5 player in the state of Mississippi.

“Scott did a good job for us. With his size, footwork and athletic ability, he was able to land several scholarship offers from SEC schools,” Chambless said. “He chose Alabama and I think it’s working out well for him. He got some playing time this year and I look for this coming season to be a big year for him.”

The West Point native sat out his redshirt season in 2016 and has seen game action against Vanderbilt, Ole Miss, and Mercer this season.

“He’s got a lot stronger now. He has grown from a young man into a ‘man-man’,” Chambless said. “On the offensive and defensive line, size and athletic ability is the first thing coaches look at. Not many players have the body type that he has, combined with his athletic ability. I think that really helps him.”

Chambless elaborated on Lashley’s recruitment, which brought marquee coaches, including Nick Saban, to West Point. Lashley ultimately chose the Crimson Tide over LSU, Mississippi State, Auburn, and Arkansas.

“A lot of good coaches came through and of course when you have good players, that’s going to happen,” Chambless said. “I thought they were impressed with our young kids and how they carried themselves. Scott not only carried himself like a young man should here at West Point, but he has carried that over to Alabama and is doing a great job.”

Although the college athlete has a rigorous schedule, Chambless says that he and Lashley do keep a steady line of communication during the season and in the off-season.

“He comes back and sees us when he’s in town and he was able to make it to a game this season,” Chambless said. “These D-1 athletes, they don’t have a lot of time to just get on the phone and talk, but Scott and I will shoot text messages back and forth and I’ll check on him every now and then to make sure everything is ok. That’s with all our guys, not just Scott.”

While Lashley isn’t expected to see playing time tomorrow night against the Georgia Bulldogs, he could be an injury or two on the offensive line away from being thrust into action on the biggest stage of his life. The Crimson Tide lost starting guard Lester Cotton to injury in the semifinal game against Clemson and has been ruled out for the national championship game. If there were to be an injury to either offensive tackle tomorrow night, Lashley is listed as one of Alabama’s top backup offensive tackles.

Alabama defensive tackle Da’Ron Payne made headlines last Monday with an interception return and a touchdown catch in the Tide’s 24-6 semifinal win over Clemson. While Lashley played tight end at West Point, Chambless was unsure if we would see Lashley going out for a pass, as Payne did in the Sugar Bowl.

“Yeah, I don’t know about that,” Chambless laughed. “Regardless of whether Scott played tight end, wide receiver, or even quarterback, he’d try to be the best quarterback he could be. That’s just the type of person he is.”