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Report: Tide’s Anderson, Young to play in Sugar Bowl

Linebacker Will Anderson Jr. and quarterback Bryce Young will play in Alabama’s upcoming bowl game, ESPN’s Chris Low reported Friday.

According to Low, an ESPN senior writer, Coach Nick Saban has confirmed that his No. 5-ranked Crimson Tide will have no opt outs in its postseason matchup.

Saban previously signaled his desire for players to view the Allstate Sugar Bowl game as an opportunity to increase their value ahead of the 2023 NFL Draft. The Tide will take on No. 9 Kansas State, the Big 12 conference champion, on Dec. 31.

The report is unique to Saban and company given that star NFL prospects typically opt out for bowl games due to the potential for injury, which places an upper-tier draft selection in jeopardy.

Anderson and Young are rated by ESPN’s Todd McShay as the top two prospects for the draft.

Anderson, a two-time unanimous All-American, recorded 51 total tackles, 10 sacks and one interception during his junior year at the Capstone. He was 2022’s recipient of the Lott Trophy, Lombardi Award, Bronko Nagurski Trophy, and Chuck Bednarik Award.

The two-time, first-team All-SEC honoree is Alabama’s No. 2 all-time leader in sacks.

Young in 2021 became the Crimson Tide’s first-ever quarterback to claim the Heisman Trophy. For his 2022 campaign, the 2021 consensus All-American holds a 64.1% completion rate, has recorded 27 touchdowns through the air, and thrown just five interceptions on 359 pass attempts.

Saban’s squad is a three-point betting favorite over the Wildcats.

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

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