Alabama star quarterback Bryce Young announced Monday that he will declare himself for the 2023 NFL Draft where he could be the first overall pick.
At a press conference at the Alabama athletic facility, Young — along with two of his teammates, point runner Will Anderson Jr. and running back Jahmyr Gibbs — announced their decision to quit school. and enter the repechage.
Later Monday, Alabama defensive back Brian Branch announced his intention to enter the draft on social media.
All four enter the draft as potential first-round picks, with Young arguably the top prospect overall and therefore in contention to be selected with the top pick.
The announcement, which came after they all helped Alabama to a 45-20 Sugar Bowl win over Kansas State on Saturday, comes as no surprise to Young, who has been highly touted for several years after being the replacement for Mac Jones during the Crimson Tide title in 2020
When Jones was selected in the first round by the New England Patriots in the 2021 NFL Draft, Young enjoyed two prolific years as a starting quarterback for Alabama.
He became the 2021 Heisman Trophy winner after a banner year for Alabama in which Young set the school record for single-season passing yards (4,872) and touchdowns (47).
This season, Young has thrown for 3,328 yards and 32 touchdowns in three fewer games than last season, becoming the only quarterback in Alabama history to throw for more than 3,000 yards in two. seasons.
The 21-year-old’s time at Tuscaloosa ends with a touchdown ratio of 80:12.
“Throughout this process, I will give my all. I’m going to do my best to make sure I’m at my best wherever I finish,” Young said, according to the Alabama website, as he considered the next step in his career.
“And then, I’m going to do everything in my power to make any franchise that takes me successful.”
With Ohio State’s CJ Stroud and Kentucky’s Will Levis, this year’s NFL Draft is shaping up to have a number of top quarterback prospects.
With one week remaining in the season, the Houston Texans hold the No. 1 pick with a 2-13-1 record with the Chicago Bears not far behind at 3-13.
While the Texans need a starting quarterback, the emergence of Justin Fields in his sophomore year will likely mean the team chooses to tackle other areas.