Bryce Young hardly came up empty in 2021.
The Alabama quarterback won the Heisman Trophy and guided the Crimson Tide to 13 wins and the national championship game while bagging something in the range of $1 million on Name, Image and Likeness deals.
He’ll roll into fall camp as one of the Heisman favorites and is being discussed as the potential No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. So what does Young have left to prove?
“We didn’t get it done last year. We have a lot of motivation. A lot of fuel for the fire,” he said Tuesday at SEC Media Days in Atlanta.
Young followed head coach Nick Saban to the dais at media days and confirmed what most in the know around the program fully understand — Saban will do and say whatever is necessary to motivate Young to fight for more.
Saban said Young is one of the best leaders he’s been around and keeps his teammates focused and hungry. But the biggest challenge for Young in Saban’s view will be to “understand success is not a continuum.”
After throwing for more than 4,800 yards with 47 touchdown passes in 2021, Young said Tuesday he’s starting over in some ways with his top wide receivers and two of his five starting offensive linemen now preparing to play on Sundays in the NFL.
“Quarterback is a difficult position to play if you’re not surrounded by great people,” Saban said.
One new face in the Alabama backfield who should give the Crimson Tide a boost is transfer running back Jahmyr Gibbs.
“He is super explosive, super dynamic, and he’s really smart,” Young said Tuesday. “He understands the offense really well. It’s not just him running and catching the ball, but he’s good with protections too.”
Gibbs had 746 rushing yards and 465 receiving yards at Georgia Tech in 2021 before entering the transfer portal in November. He hits Tuscaloosa with two years of eligibility left and is making an impact before fall camp begins.
“He’s a very mature person. He’s got great work ethic. He’s very talented from an ability standpoint,” Saban said. “He’s made a really, really positive impact on our team in a lot of ways, on the field and off.”
–Field Level Media