NEW ORLEANS, La. (WBRC) – “We have the 24-hour rule. I’m just happy to celebrate with my guys, and that’s all I’ve been thinking about,” Bryce Young said after Alabama’s dominant win over Kansas State in the Sugar Bowl on Saturday.
Young, along with teammate Will Anderson, now has a decision to make about his immediate future as he considers a move to the National Football League. The junior quarterback and Anderson are both projected to be high first-round picks in the NFL Draft if they decide to enter.
“I want them to make the best business decision for themselves and their future,” Alabama coach Nick Saban said after Saturday’s game. “And if you’re going to be a high first-round draft pick, the business decision has always been, you’re probably better off going for the draft, unless you have some other reason you don’t think you’re ready to do it. that.”
Saban also addressed players opting out of bowl games, a trend that is increasingly common in college football, to prepare for the NFL Draft, saying players create value for themselves by playing football, not leaving.
Young, however, says it’s not up to him to decide whether his five-touchdown performance in the Sugar Bowl added any value to him as a player.
“For me, it was just doing whatever I can to help the team,” Young said. “This was such a great opportunity, I think for us as a team, as the coach said, to try to try something. For us to end this season in the right way means a lot. So whatever comes after that is out of my hands.”
Young finished the Sugar Bowl going 15 of 21 for 321 yards and five touchdowns. If this was his last game for Alabama, it caps a remarkable career in Tuscaloosa that included a Heisman Trophy.
Will Anderson, Alabama’s first two-time consensus All-American, said it was emotional to take the field with his teammates on Saturday.
“The brotherhood that was there, I mean, it was amazing,” Anderson said. “I think that’s why I’m so emotional right now, because all those guys have a special place in my heart. They give me a lot of confidence. They believe in me a lot. They help me a lot. More than people know.”
For both players, however, Saturday was not about the future. Instead, Young and Anderson emphasized two things: the team and the standard.
“For us, the standard, that’s something we live by,” Young said. “It’s not just something we can do once or it’s, ‘We did this, we accomplished that, it’s over.’ It continues for the future of the program, the future of everything. We have to live with that every day.”
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