‘Best business decision’: Saban talks future of Bryce Young, Will Anderson

Alabama quarterback Bryce Young accepts the award for Sugar Bowl MVP.
Alabama quarterback Bryce Young accepts the award for Sugar Bowl MVP.(Rodger Champion | Crimson Tide Photos / UA Athletics)
Published: Dec. 31, 2022 at 6:41 PM CST
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NEW ORLEANS, La. (WBRC) - “We have the 24-hour rule. I’m just happy to celebrate this 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 moving on 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 head coach Nick Saban said following Saturday’s game. “And if you’re going to be a high first-round draft pick, the business decision has always been it’s probably best to go out for the draft unless you have some other reason that you don’t feel you’re ready to do that.”

Saban also addressed players opting out of bowl games, a trend that is more and more common in college football, to prepare for the NFL Draft, saying that players create value for themselves by playing football, not by opting out.

Young however, says it isn’t for him to decide if his five-touchdown performance in the Sugar Bowl added any value for him as a player.

“For me, it was just about doing everything I can to help the team out,” Young said. “This was such a huge opportunity, I feel like, for us as a team, like Coach said, to try to prove something. For us to finish this season the right way means a lot. So whatever comes after that, that’s out of my hands.”

Young finished the Sugar Bowl going 15-of-21 passing for 321 yards and five touchdowns. If this was his final game for Alabama, it caps off an incredible career in Tuscaloosa which included a Heisman Trophy.

Will Anderson, Alabama’s first-ever two-time consensus All-American, said it was emotional being out on the field with his teammates Saturday.

“Just the brotherhood that was in there, I mean, it was amazing,” Anderson said. “I think that’s why I’m so emotional right now, because all of those guys, they hold a special place in my heart. They give me so much confidence. They believe in me so much. They help me so much. More than what people know.”

For both players, though, Saturday was not about the future. Rather, Young and Anderson emphasized two things: the team and the standard.

“For us, the standard, that’s something that we live by,” Young said. “It’s not just something that we can do one time or it’s “We did this, we accomplished this, it’s over.” It continues for the future of the program, the future of everything. We have to live by that each and every day.”

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