Alabama’s Young, Anderson talk decision to play in the Sugar Bowl
Alabama is expected to have a full player participation when it faces Kansas State later this month in the Allstate Sugar Bowl including linebacker Will Anderson Jr. and quarterback Bryce Young.
Both players are projected to be selected among the first five selections in the NFL Draft next spring, leading to speculation that they would opt-out of the bowl game.
“For me, was easy,” Young said of his decision to play in the Sugar Bowl. “It’s another opportunity to go out there and play with my brothers.”
“Anyone who knows Will Anderson and knows what kind of competitor I am, is not surprised by my decision to play,” Anderson said.
#Alabama Will Anderson talks Sugar Bowl: “Anyone who knows Will Anderson and knows what kind of competitor I am is not surprised by my decision to play” @WVUA23Sports @garyharris_wvua pic.twitter.com/oUlDAB19vJ
— Stu McCann (@stu_mccann) December 19, 2022
Dane Brugler of The Athletic sports news website projects Young as the No. 1 pick and Anderson as the No. 2 pick in his most recent 2023 NFL mock draft. It’s clear that both players are prioritizing their current situation ahead of future projections
“This is a great opportunity for us as a team, for me, for all of us, and we’ve all had each other’s backs all year,” Young said. “It’s been about accountability, about making sure that we’re holding ourselves to our standards, and that’s words that we all live by, that I live by.”
Young won the Heisman Trophy last year and followed that up with a season in which he threw for 3,007 yards, 27 touchdowns and five interceptions.
Anderson has seemingly won every major award given to a defensive player this postseason including the LOTT Trophy, the Chuck Bednarik Award, the Bronco Nagurski Award. Anderson recorded 10 sacks and 17 tackles for loss this season, leading the SEC in both categories.
No. 5 Alabama plays No. 9 Kansas State in the Sugar Bowl on Saturday, Dec. 31. The game is scheduled for 11:00 a.m. at the Caesars Superdome in New Orleans.