Bryce Young, Alabama finish season the right way
By WVUA 23 Sports Reporter Alex Boothe
Time after time, key players in college football have ‘opted-out’ of playing in non-playoff bowl games if they have the intention of entering the NFL Draft. The same cannot be said for Alabama quarterback Bryce Young, who provided Crimson Tide fans with one final closing act in the Sugar Bowl.
“This was such a huge opportunity I feel like for us as a team, like Coach (Nick Saban) said, to try to prove something,” Young said following Alabama’s 45-20 win over Kansas State. “For us to finish this season the right way means a lot. Whatever comes after that, that’s out of my hands. But I’m just happy we were able to win, and I was able to play with my guys.”
Young’s highlight of the game was orchestrating a seven play, ninety-eight-yard drive in fifty-one seconds to put Alabama up by double digits, 21-10 at halftime. After a failed onside kick attempt by Kansas State out of halftime, Young tried topping his efficient drive to end the half with a thirty-two-yard touchdown pass to Ja’Corey Brooks, which was placed perfectly in the back right corner of the end zone. While the drives in succession were met with loud cheers and shocked fans, Young’s Tide teammates knew what to expect.
“That’s just Bryce, he carries himself one way,” Alabama wide receiver Jermaine Burton said. “He carries himself as ‘Bryce Young’ and wherever ‘Bryce Young’ goes, he’s going to be ‘Bryce Young’. So, it’s great always seeing him be him. Bryce is an unbelievable player and leader just off the field, and I feel like just him playing this game sets him apart from any other quarterback, any other player, in the draft this year and that just shows his character.”
Young finished the game with five passing touchdowns and took home Sugar Bowl Most Outstanding Player honors, giving Alabama its tenth Sugar Bowl victory in program history. Two days later, Young announced his intentions to leave school a year early and enter his name in the 2023 NFL Draft.