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Bryce Young becomes first Alabama quarterback to claim Heisman Trophy

University of Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback Bryce Young on Saturday night was named the winner of the Heisman Trophy for the 2021 college football season.

The award marks the second consecutive year an Alabama player has been recognized as the most outstanding player in college football.

The Tide’s star quarterback became the university’s fourth-ever Heisman Trophy winner, with all prior awardees landing the recognition during the tenure of head coach Nick Saban. Young joins UA running backs Mark Ingram (2009) and Derrick Henry (2015), as well as wide receiver DeVonta Smith (2020) in receiving college football’s preeminent individual honor.

Thus far in his sophomore campaign, Young has compiled 43 passing touchdowns with only four interceptions, while racking up 4,322 yards through the air. He also holds the second-highest quarterback efficiency rating in the nation at 88.9.

While remaining in the forefront of contending for the Heisman Trophy throughout the 2021 college football season, Young’s candidacy received a significant boost after leading the Crimson Tide to a comeback victory in a historic Iron Bowl road win.

Young’s momentum carried into the following week during the SEC Championship Game as he threw for three touchdowns and 421 passing yards in Alabama’s victory over the University of Georgia Bulldogs and its top-ranked defense.

During the ceremony’s trophy presentation, which was broadcast on ESPN, Young showered praise upon all those who he asserted had contributed to his success.

The Heisman trophy winner touched on overcoming criticism he had faced from naysayers who doubted his abilities as a passing quarterback due to his physique and stereotypes associated with him being a black signal-caller.

“People a lot of the times have told me that I wasn’t going to be able to make it. For me, it’s always been about not really proving them wrong but proving it to myself what I can accomplish,” said Young in his acceptance speech. “I always push myself to work the hardest and do my best to do all I can to maximize what I do. Thanks to the people around me and to the grace of God, I’ve been able to make it here and I’m truly grateful for that.”

Alongside receiving the sport’s most prestigious award, Young was also voted The Associated Press College Football Player of the Year and the SEC Offensive Player of the Year.

Earlier this week, he received the Davey O’Brien Award, which recognizes the nation’s most outstanding quarterback. An additional piece of hardware Young brought home was the Maxwell Award, an honor bestowed upon the best player in college football.

Young and the potent Bama offense now set their sights on the College Football Playoff, where they will face the No. 4 University of Cincinnati Bearcats in the semifinals matchup.

Should the top-ranked Crimson Tide prevail in the semifinals showdown, it will advance to the College Football Playoff national championship where it would vie for back-to-back national titles and its seventh in 13 years.

Dylan Smith is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @DylanSmithAL

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