Bryce Young Has Nothing Left To Prove At Alabama

Bryce Young Alabama

On paper, the #5 Alabama Crimson Tide play in a meaningless postseason game this year. Alabama is set to take on the #9 Kansas State Wildcats in the Allstate Sugar Bowl. This is a chance for Alabama to have an early start at a rebuild after a disappointing 2022 season. Many Alabama fans were surprised to see that former Heisman Trophy winner quarterback Bryce Young and two-time Bronko Nagurski winner Will Anderson Jr. are set to play in the Sugar Bowl.  They could have easily skipped the bowl game to prepare for the 2023 NFL draft. Many reasonable fans would not be upset with the decision. While it is not confirmed that Young or Anderson are going to be leaving after the bowl game, it is safe to say that the Sugar Bowl will be the last game for the Alabama stars.

 Many Alabama fans support Young’s potential decision to leave early for the 2023 NFL Draft. There are, however, some former Alabama players who do not feel the same. Among the two most notable players who said Young should come back for his senior year are former outside linebacker Tim Williams and former running back Trent Richardson. There is the belief that Young could be among the only three starting quarterbacks of the Nick Saban era who have not won a championship for Alabama.  The other two are John Parker Wilson and Tua Tagovailoa. His success at the University of Alabama goes beyond winning titles, especially if he is the first overall pick.

Bryce Young Is Already A Champion And Secure A Top NFL Draft Pick

Young was a part of the 2020 national championship team when they dominated the Ohio State Buckeyes 52-24. He backed up Mac Jones in the 2020 championship season. Even if Young does not have a title on his own as a starting quarterback, it doesn’t mean that he hasn’t been successful at Alabama.  In 2021 and 2022, Young was one of the most electrifying players as evidenced by winning the Heisman Trophy in 2021. He is currently second all-time in Alabama’s program in passing yards (8,035) and third in passing touchdowns (75). 

He has been consistently one of the most productive and high-volume passers in college football. When one possible passing lane closes, Young can find another to throw to. He can even extend the play to find a great opportunity to complete a pass. It is for these reasons why is #1 in Todd McShay’s 2023 NFL Draft 1.0. Unless Young accounted for a terrible combine process or suffers an injury in the Sugar Bowl, he becomes a top-five or a first-overall pick. It is even dangerous for Young to even play in this postseason bowl game, just ask former Michigan tight end Jake Butt and former Notre Dame linebacker Jaylon Smith. Young has given more than enough to the Crimson Tide football team. 

 Alabama’s Shortcomings Aren’t Young’s Fault 

Young was so close to giving Alabama a consecutive national title in 2021. A combination of injuries to two star receivers and ill-prepared young receivers plagued Alabama in the National Championship Game 33-18 loss to the Georgia Bulldogs. This season, Young played great despite not having consistent proper game-planning from second-year offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien. Alabama lost to Tennessee on the road because their secondary could not stop Jalin Hyatt. Young cannot constantly bail out his team’s constant poor play on the road. 

No matter how great a quarterback is, the constant weight of a bad set of performances across the field from other players can ruin championship teams. In 2016, Lamar Jackson won the Heisman Trophy, but his Louisville Cardinals accounted for an overall record of 9-4. While Alabama has great talent, they could not overcome poor game strategy, especially on the road. These are attributes that Young shouldn’t be blamed for and definitely, one where he shouldn’t have to come for his senior season in 2023 and try to win a championship just to potentially get hurt, thus dangering his NFL career. Young has the chance to become the first overall pick in the Draft for Alabama since Harry Gilmer in 1948.

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