Alabama Football News

Alabama Football 2021 Spring Preview: QB Bryce Young

Bryce Young attempts a pass for Alabama versus Arkansas in 2020
Photo by Kent Gidley of Alabama Athletics/SEC Media Portal

Spring football returns to the University of Alabama on Friday.

Fans of the Crimson Tide are excited for this edition of athletes taking the field, as Nick Saban and the program look to repeat as national champions. With 15 practice sessions – including the A-Day Game – the staff writers for Touchdown Alabama Magazine will provide in-depth previews on marquee players. 

As we begin on offense, the first profile piece is Bryce Young.

Bryce Young

Classification: Sophomore

Hometown: Pasadena, Calif.

Height: 6’0″

Weight: 194 pounds

Strengths: athleticism, leadership, arm talent (accuracy), game experience

Weaknesses: Size, decision-making (when pressured)

2020 stats: 13-of-22 passes completed, 156 yards, one touchdown (nine games)

Summary: After Tua Tagovailoa, Bryce Young entered Alabama as the next major five-star quarterback.

RELATED: WATCH: Breaking down Alabama’s wide receivers for spring practice

He was a household name at Mater Dei High School, leading the Monarchs to a state championship in 2018 and the state championship game in 2019.

Young recorded 13,250 career passing yards and 178 total touchdowns. He earned a lot of awards in high school and was expected to win the starting quarterback job last season. The Coronavirus pandemic negated spring practice from the Crimson Tide, which took an opportunity from Young to compete.

Mac Jones carried the program to a national championship, and when he handed Young the football, many fans saw this as Jones passing Young the torch.

The 6-foot, 194-pounder brings athleticism, accuracy, and playmaking abilities to the quarterback room.

According to Keith Miller, a coach in California who scouted out Young in the eighth grade, he expects the sophomore to take the reins as the Tide’s starting quarterback. During a segment on In My Own Words, Miller told yours truly that Young is a ‘unique’ player at the position. He compared the former five-star to Johnny Manziel and Russell Wilson and said Young will do ‘special things.’

*Coach Keith Miller speaks on Bryce Young at the 44:42 mark

“Bryce will lead Alabama to SEC titles, national titles, and I expect him to win at least one Heisman Trophy,” Miller said.

RELATED: Time and network has been announced for Alabama’s Golden Flake A-Day Game

Young rushed for 26 touchdowns in high school, and he has an uncanny ability to extend plays. He can operate off-script and did receive some in-game experience last year. Those opportunities will make him better in spring practice; however, Young also has areas he needs to improve in. First off, he must add muscle to his frame. Tagovailoa was the same height as Young when he arrived in 2017, but his body was thicker. A combination of being short and small will not transition to success in the SEC.

He is working with David Ballou and Dr. Matt Rhea, but Young has to get stronger.

His decision-making under pressure is another spot for improvement. He took a couple of sacks last year in situations where he should have thrown the ball away.

Young also suffered a couple of lost fumbles as a result of holding the ball too long. Despite wanting to be a playmaker, Young has to realize protecting the ball and possessions the most important thing under Nick Saban. If he can master that, then Young has a good chance of holding off Paul Tyson and Jalen Milroe for the starting job.

He is the favorite to win the job, and Young is set to go this spring. It will be fun to see him become a superstar for the program.

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Stephen M. Smith is the managing editor and senior writer for Touchdown Alabama Magazine.  You can “like” him on Facebook or “follow” him on Twitter, via @CoachingMSmith.

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