College football has the luxury of having the Heisman Trophy winner return to play this season. Bryce Young is one of the most talented players in the country and a favorite to repeat and win the Heisman. Young is the subject of today’s 99 Things. The Alabama quarterback helped lead his team to an SEC title and an appearance in the College Football National Championship. Young had an incredible season but fell short of the ultimate goal and expectation at Alabama which is winning the title.
Young had an excellent season which culminated in winning the Heisman Trophy. He had one of the best statistical seasons in college football last season. Young passed for 4,872 yard and 47 touchdowns last season. Both were good for second in the entire country. On top of winning the Heisman, Young also won the Maxwell award, Davey O’Brien award, Manning award, and the AP College Football Player of the Year. Young’s best game came against Arkansas where he completed 31 of 40 passes for 559 yards and five touchdowns. His performance helped lead the Crimson Tide to a 42-35 victory over the Razorbacks.
One of the biggest questions for Young in 2022 is who the top target will be. Jameson Williams and John Metchie both departed for the NFL after they each topped 1,000 receiving yards. Agiye Hall was expected to step up but he decided to transfer to Texas. Jermaine Burton is the most likely player to become the number one wide receiver. Burton transferred from Georgia after the National Championship game. He finished second on the team with 497 yards and a staggering 19.1 yards per catch. Burton will look to replicate the path of Williams and become a first round pick.
Young is likely to be one of the first picks in the 2023 NFL draft. His accuracy and arm strength have coaches and scouts drooling at the possibility of drafting him. Young is not a running quarterback but he is able to evade pressure and extend plays. He actually finished with a total of zero rushing yards in 2022. His field vision helps set him apart from most other quarterbacks as he is able to find the open receiver and place the throw in the correct spot. The biggest potential fallback to his draft stock is his size. Young measures in at 5’11” and while plenty of quarterbacks have found success standing under 6 foot, some teams will drop him in their draft board because of his height.
In order for Young to have a chance at the Heisman, he will likely need to go undefeated. Returning Heisman winners are always held to a different standard. We saw it with Lamar Jackson, Tim Tebow and plenty of others. An early season matchup with Texas should give Young some early hype if he plays well against the Longhorns. Games against Arkansas, Texas A&M, Tennessee, Ole Miss and LSU will also help his case. His numbers will need to exceed his totals from 2021 meaning he will need over 5,000 passing yards and 50 touchdowns. Young possesses the talent to reach the lofty expectations but there is no guarantee he gets there. No matter how he plays, make sure to enjoy watching him play as he is destined for the NFL after this season.