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Could Alabama have multiple finalists in New York for 2022 Heisman Trophy?

Alabama RB Jahmyr Gibbs (#13) with first-team offense in 2022 Spring Football Practice
Photo by Rodger Champion of Alabama Athletics

Bryce Young looks to retain his crown as the reigning Heisman Trophy winner for Alabama football, but this year’s race could field multiple finalists for the Crimson Tide.

Will Anderson Jr., an outside linebacker, is back for his junior season. He led the team and nation for sacks (17.5) and tackles for loss (34.5) while having 102 total tackles, nine quarterback hurries, and three pass breakups in 2021. Anderson did not have the Heisman listed as a goal, but he became a finalist. He got snubbed from a trip to New York City for the presentation, but the former five-star has the coveted bronze award as a goal for the fall. He returns as the most dominant defensive player in college football. If he repeats his production from last year and adds a couple of touchdowns, Anderson will be in the Big Apple.

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Jahmyr Gibbs, a transfer running back from Georgia Tech, is another to consider.

Gibbs arrived for spring practice in Tuscaloosa for an opportunity to be in the Heisman conversation. His skill set makes him an electric runner, receiver, and return specialist for the Crimson Tide. Gibbs totaled 1,800 all-purpose yards and seven touchdowns last season for the Yellow Jackets. He brings explosive cuts, contact balance, marquee acceleration/burst, reliable hands in the passing game, and the potential to break big plays when he has the ball. Mark Ingram (2009) and Derrick Henry (2015) won the Heisman as Tide running backs, but Gibbs provides a different element. He will have moments worthy of the Heisman this year.

Young could win the Heisman for a second straight year.

He would join Archie Griffin (formerly of Ohio State) as the second player to win back-to-back Heisman honors. The junior quarterback will be a participant at the Manning Passing Academy and is expected to be a finalist for the Heisman Trophy.

Young posted single-season school records for passing yards (4,872), touchdown passes (47), and total touchdowns (50) as a sophomore, but he’s in for bigger production. A second Heisman honor and a national championship are what he wants.

Dark horse Heisman finalists for Alabama

-RB Jase McClellan

-WR Jermaine Burton

-WR Tyler Harrell

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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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