Bryce Young addresses stardom, Alabama's title pursuit at SEC Media Days

Derrian Carter
The Tuscaloosa News

ATLANTA –– Alabama football quarterback Bryce Young came dressed to impress at SEC Media Days on Tuesday. In a silver suit coupled with a red tie and Christian Louboutin shoes, the reigning Heisman trophy winner was his prepared self.

He addressed several topics as the Crimson Tide attempt to go one step further after reaching the College Football Playoff national championship game last year and he deals with life in the spotlight as one of the biggest names in the sport after his breakout season. 

Here are the five biggest takeaways from Young's day with the media.

Adjusting to life as a national star

Young said his life is the same despite earning multiple honors, including the Heisman Trophy, Associated Press College Player of the Year and the Maxwell Award. 

Alabama quarterback Bryce Young is interviewed on radio row during SEC Media Days at the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta Tuesday, July 19, 2022.

"It's maybe, I guess, weird to think for other people, but for me, it hasn't really changed much," Young said. "My day-to-day is the same (and) how I view things are the same, so it hasn't been a huge change.

"There's some external stuff that may look a little different, some logistics, that may look a little different, but for me, one, I feel like just my process is one more gradually than people may have thought."

Young acknowledged his responsibilities are greater since he is more of a leader and the oldest in the quarterback room for the Crimson Tide, but the achievements haven't altered his daily routines.

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Building chemistry with new teammates

Alabama added four players on offense from the transfer portal, and Young is developing chemistry with the fresh faces. New transfers include offensive lineman Tyler Steen (Vanderbilt), running back Jahmyr Gibbs (Georgia Tech) and wide receivers Tyler Harrell (Louisville) and Jermaine Burton (Alabama).

Young said he is particularly excited about the addition of  Gibbs, who earned three spots on the 2021 all-ACC team with Georgia Tech, to the running back mix.

"(Gibbs) is super explosive, super dynamic, and he's really smart," Young said. "He understands the offense really well, even in the short time that he's been here."

Young is also working with Burton, who caught 26 catches for 497 yards and five touchdowns for Georgia last season.

"It's been a lot of timing that we developed," Young said. "A lot of chemistry (and) work that's going on, (and) it's only going to improve, so I'm really excited."

Offensive line questions

One question facing  Alabama is how will its offensive line perform. The Crimson Tide dealt with injuries last season and will have to address the line's continuity.

Young is confident thanks to the work being implemented by offensive line coach Eric Wolford.

"We have a really good change in atmosphere and direction," Young said. "Coach (Wolford) coming in really has helped us ... He shored up some things: protections from a schematics standpoint, like he's done a really good job with those guys up front."

The ascension of Will Anderson Jr.

Linebacker Will Anderson Jr. was dominant last season, winning the Bronko Nagurski Trophy and the SEC Defensive Player of the Year. Yet Young wants everyone to know about Anderson's qualities  off the field. 

"Everyone sees the output he adds on Saturdays, and how amazing he is on the field, but people don't always get to see how hard of a worker he is, how much he means for us from a leadership standpoint, how much he can bring along the younger guys and what a vocal leader is for us on the team," Young said.

Young said Anderson deserved to be a Heisman finalist in 2021 and hopes  he will earn that recognition this season.

Jimbo Fisher vs. Nick Saban  

Young credited the competitive spirit between Alabama coach Nick Saban and Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher for their verbal clash in May over NIL.

"Both coaches are great coaches, great competitors, and when you're competing at this high of a level, stuff like that's going to happen," Young said.