NEW YORK — Bryce Young didn't just meet the standard set by the star quarterbacks who preceded him at Alabama, he exceeded it and gave the Crimson Tide a rare Heisman back-to-back.
Young became the first Tide quarterback to win the Heisman Trophy on Saturday night, making Alabama the fifth school with consecutive winners of college football's most prestigious player of the year award.
“This is amazing,” said Young, dressed in all black with a sparkling diamond chain around his neck, as he started his acceptance speech.
He thanked his father, Craig, for being his “best friend,” his mother, Julie, for “always having my back,” and his offensive line for “protecting me.”
Young received 684 first-place votes and 2,311 points to easily outdistance Michigan defensive end Aidan Hutchinson (78, 954), who became the third defensive player to be Heisman runner-up and first since Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te'o in 2012.
Pittsburgh quarterback Kenny Pickett (28, 631) finished third and Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud (12, 399) was fourth. Alabama linebacker Will Anderson Jr. (31, 325) was fifth, putting two defensive players in the top five for the first time since 1962.
A year after former teammate DeVonta Smith won the Heisman, Young received 83% of total points available, the seventh highest among 87 winners. He was named on 90 percent of all ballots, also the seventh highest in Heisman history.
Young has passed for 4,322 yards and 43 touchdowns this season, leading No 1 Alabama to a Southeastern Conference title and a spot in the College Football Playoff. The defending national champion Crimson Tide will play No. 4 Cincinnati on Dec. 31 in the Cotton Bowl.
Young is Alabama's fourth Heisman winner, all in the last 13 years under coach Nick Saban. Only four schools have won more: Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma and Southern California each have won seven.
The other schools to have Heisman winners in consecutive years are Yale (1936-37), Army (1945-46), Southern California (2004-05) — though Reggie Bush’s 2005 victory was later vacated — and Oklahoma (2017-18).
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Running backs Mark Ingram (2009) and Derrick Henry (2015) were Alabama’s first two Heisman winners and Smith, a receiver, was No. 3 last year.
Young, a sophomore, stepped into the starting role held by Mac Jones last year and Tua Tagovailoa the two seasons prior. Both are starting in the NFL after being selected in the first round of the draft.
“It was big for me understanding the quarterback tradition and the standard that was being a quarterback at the University of Alabama,” Young said. “It was important for me to live up to that, to meet that standard.”
Tagovailoa was the Heisman runner-up to Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray in 2018 and then finished 10th in the voting in 2019, a season cut short by injury.