Alabama Football quarterback, Bryce Young made history Saturday night. He became the first Alabama Crimson Tide QB to win a Heisman Award. In the last two weeks of the season, Young’s performances against Auburn and Georgia made him the runaway Heisman front-runner.
So assured were Crimson Tide fans that Bryce would win, most of their message board and social media chatter was not about Bryce winning. It was about the snub to Will Anderson Jr. from not being a Heisman finalist.
Anderson finished fifth in the Heisman voting, ahead of Kenneth Walker III (Michigan St. RB), (Ole Miss QB) Matt Corral, Desmond Ridder (Cincinnati QB), Jordan Davis (Georgia DL), and (Iowa State RB) Breece Hall.
Though Young was no underdog late in the Heisman race, he has often been an underdog in his football career. In the summer after his eighth-grade year, Young was invited by Kliff Kingsbury to a Texas Tech camp. Young was 5’7″ and it was the first interest from a college coach. Kingsbury gave Young an offer before he left the camp.
Other offers did not quickly follow. Well into his high school career, Young was still doubted because of his size. He grew to 5’9″, then slowly edged to around 5’11”. He is listed at six feet on the Alabama football roster, but that might be a generous measurement.
He wasn’t the top QB recruit for the Crimson Tide for a time. Steve Sarkisian changed that perspective. Despite the unmatched closing skills of Nick Saban, Alabama football insiders acknowledge Bryce Young would not be in Tuscaloosa were it not for Sarkisian.
Tritely, it could be said, after winning a Heisman, the rest is history. But Bryce Young’s history is far from written. He is without a doubt, a special football player and a fine young man. Winning the Davey O’Brien, Maxwell and Heisman awards as a sophomore will not be the end of his college football accomplishments.
The young man is a leader. His parents deserve credit for that. So do Nick Saban and Steve Sarkisian, along with sometimes maligned Crimson Tide OC, Bill O’Brien. O’Brien inherited Young, but to suggest he has not had a major role in Young’s development would be a mistake.
In accepting the award, Bryce Young exhibited the poise he showed in the 97-yard drive against the Auburn Tigers. Always gracious, the young man offered sincere thanks and appreciation.
Young gained the seventh-highest vote total ever for the award and was the leading vote-getter in every region of the United States.