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‘Focused on this season’: Young, Anderson pass on NFL talk

It has become common practice in recent years for star college football players to opt out of bowl games to ensure their health ahead of the NFL draft.

Quarterback Bryce Young and linebacker Will Anderson, both of whom are in their junior years at the Capstone, are widely considered to be upper first-round draft picks. Should they declare their intentions for April’s NFL draft, the Tide stars are likely to be the beneficiaries of high-dollar rookie contracts.

During a Monday press conference, the Alabama All-Americans were asked if they had made decisions regarding potentially opting out of the bowl game.

According to Anderson, the 2021 Bronko Nagurski Trophy awardee has not “made any decisions yet.”

“I’ve just been really focused on this season and continuing to be a good leader and making sure that I’m showing guys the right way of how to do things around here,” said Anderson, according to 247Sports. “But it’s a great time here. Playing in Bryant-Denny has been fun, so many memories. I just wanna keep those memories going. It’s been fun, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.”

For Young, last year’s Heisman Trophy winner, his full attention is dedicated to Saturday’s rivalry game against the Auburn Tigers.

“As far as me thinking about my future, I take everything one day at a time,” the outlet quoted Young as saying. “So all I’ve been focused on throughout the year has been the next opponent, and obviously, this is huge. This is a huge game. This means a lot to me, to people in the entire state, to us as a team. This is a huge game, so all I think about is today. How can I be the best version of myself today to get ready to put myself in the best circumstances, how we as a team can do that, and that’s all my head’s focused on.”

With No. 8 Alabama being out of contention for the SEC Championship and College Football Playoff, Nick Saban and his squad are contenders for a New Year’s Six bowl bid.

Sports Illustrated projects the Crimson Tide will face No. 15 Kansas State in the Sugar Bowl, a post-season opportunity reserved for top-tier SEC and Big 12 teams.

Alabama will face Auburn Saturday in the 87th Iron Bowl at 2:30 p.m. CBS will carry the game’s broadcast from Bryant-Denny Stadium.

Dylan Smith is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @DylanSmithAL

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