In a move which comes as no surprise, three of Alabama’s top players from this season are set to turn pro. In a joint announcement made on Monday, quarterback Bryce Young, pass rusher Will Anderson Jr. and running back Jahmyr Gibbs confirmed that they are declaring for the upcoming NFL draft.
Young made seven appearances as a freshman in 2020, but took over as the team’s starter the following year. That campaign saw him re-write the school’s record books and establish himself as a serious candidate to be the top quarterback in the 2023 class. Young threw for 4,872 yards and 47 touchdowns as a sophomore; both figures rank first in single-season program history.
That made him an unsurprising Heisman winner, and led to the expectation that a repeat performance could be on tap in 2022. Young took a step back this season, but still totaled over 3,000 passing yards for the second straight year – another unprecedented feat for an Alabama passer – while playing three fewer games. A weakened offensive line and skill-position corps have generally not been held against him, putting Young squarely in contention to be this year’s No. 1 pick.