Alabama quarterback Bryce Young and linebacker Will Anderson Jr. they’re headed to the NFL, where both could compete for the top spot in the draft.
Young, the 2021 Heisman Trophy winner, and two-time unanimous All-American Anderson announced their decision to skip their senior seasons on Monday, two days after leading Alabama to a 45-20 victory over Kansas State in the Sugar Bowl. Jahmyr Gibbs is also headed to the NFL, and coach Nick Saban said other players could follow.
They endeared themselves even more to the Crimson Tide faithful by not joining the bowl exclusion ranks among NFL prospects. Young passed for 321 yards and five touchdowns in New Orleans.
He received a standing ovation from Alabama fans when he was substituted for Jalen Milroe in the fourth quarter, and later a salute from Kansas State coach Chris Klieman.
“This is what college football is all about. I was happy Bryce played,” Klieman said after the game. “That was really good for college football and really good for the kids to see.”
Anderson is one of the greatest running backs in Alabama history and is even more highly regarded than Young. He is only the second two-time Nagurski Trophy winner and also won both the Lombardi Award and the Lott IMPACT Trophy as a junior.
He finished his three-year career with 34 1/2 sacks and 62 tackles for loss, second only to Derrick Thomas in school history.
Anderson finished fifth in the 2021 Heisman voting after accumulating 17 1/2 sacks and 34 1/2 tackles for loss. He had 10 sacks and 17 tackles for loss last season.
Gibbs, a transfer from Georgia Tech, rushed for 926 yards and seven touchdowns and gained 444 yards on 44 catches.
Report from The Associated Press.
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