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Impact Players

Talent, poise, and patience have Bryce Young in position to win the Heisman

Bryce Young drops back to pass against New Mexico State
Picture comes via Crimson Tide photos

Bryce Young never lacked talent in choosing Alabama football.

He accomplished the high school experience at a powerhouse institution (Mater Dei) in California, including a state championship.

The “good ones” are fine with getting their feet through the door, but the “great ones” want to kick it down.

RELATED: TDA writers preview SEC Championship between Alabama and Georgia

Young did not beat out Mac Jones for the Crimson Tide’s starting quarterback job in 2020; however, the freshman learned the program’s culture. He embraced his role, absorbed information from Jones, and became a team player under Nick Saban.

Alabama lost a lot of offensive talent to the NFL Draft, but it possessed a sophomore quarterback ready for the moment.

Young has turned in an incredible season.

He ranks in the top-10 of college football for passing yards (3,901, sixth), touchdowns (40, tied for second), passer rating (177, fifth), and quarterback rating (86.7, fourth).

He led a dramatic comeback victory for Alabama over Auburn in the Iron Bowl.

The Tigers held a 10-3 lead with 1:27 left in regulation at Jordan-Hare Stadium. Alabama had no timeouts and the ball on its 3-yard line

Young took the team 97 yards in 12 plays and tossed a 28-yard strike to freshman receiver Ja’Corey Brooks for a touchdown.

He also connected with John Metchie on a two-point conversion in the fourth overtime, lifting the Tide to a 24-22 win.

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Young and Alabama’s offense has a tall task versus Georgia’s defense. The Bulldogs have a top-five group in all defensive categories, but Young is excited about the challenge. He knows that an elite performance stamps him as the school’s first Heisman-winning quarterback in its history. ESPN’s Kirk Herbstreit sat down with Young for a feature interview.

He had his choice of any school to pursue his dream, but Young said Alabama was the fit because the program pushed him to be at his best. He also mentioned Tua Tagovailoa as an inspiration.

“Seeing how he [Tua] played and the dynamic plays he made, it was inspiring for me,” Young said. “The more I looked into it, the decision became clear.”

People expected him to be the starter as a true freshman, but patience is a different teacher.

Young could have complained; however, he chose to study Mac Jones and what makes him successful.

“I would be lying if I said that was not difficult,” Young said in waiting behind Jones. “I had to have that shift after the first few games. I had to realize ‘Mac’s the guy, and I have to play my role for the year.’ Am I going to be bitter? Am I going to be mad? Or am I going to understand the opportunity I have? My opportunity was to learn and grow. To see someone like Mac, a great leader, a great player, someone who had the success he had, and for me to see what it takes to do that. … I need that.”

DeVonta Smith was Young’s roommate in 2020. 

The 2020 veterans taught him well, but Young’s poise has the Crimson Tide in a position for the College Football Playoff.

Georgia stands in its way, but a dominant performance stamps Young as the Heisman Trophy winner.

His eyes, however, are more focused on a national title.

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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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