Sophomore quarterback Bryce Young from the University of Alabama was announced as the 87th winner of the Heisman Memorial Trophy during ESPN’s 2021 Heisman Trophy Ceremony Presented by Nissan on Saturday (Dec. 11), originating from Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York, N.Y.
Young, joined in New York tonight by fellow finalists Aidan Hutchinson of Michigan, Kenny Pickett of Pittsburgh and C.J. Stroud of Ohio State, is the second straight Crimson Tide player to accept the honor awarded to the most outstanding player in college football, following former teammate and 2020 winner DeVonta Smith.
Young is Alabama’s fourth Heisman winner, joining Smith and running backs Derrick Henry (2015) and Mark Ingram (2009). Alabama’s four Heisman winners in 13 years is surpassed only in the history of the trophy by Notre Dame’s four Heismans in 11 years (1943-53).
“Yeah, it’s crazy,” Young said upon hearing his name called. “You dream of moments like that. It’s surreal for something like that to happen. You know, it was a whirlwind of emotion for sure hearing your name and then composing yourself to speak, so it was really surreal, and it was truly an honor and a blessing.”
He is the fifth sophomore to win the Heisman and the first since Lamar Jackson in 2016. He is the 18th quarterback in the last 21 years to win the award and the 37th overall.
Alabama Coach Nick Saban now joins Frank Leahy for the most Heisman winners coached (four).
The 6-foot Young, who also won the Maxwell and Davey O’Brien Awards earlier this week in addition to being voted the Associated Press college football player of the year, threw for 4,322 yards on 314-of-462 passing (68.0%) as a first-year starter with 43 touchdowns and just four interceptions. He led Alabama to a 12-1 record, the 2021 SEC championship and to the top seed in the upcoming College Football Playoff.
His touchdown passes are second-most nationally, his passing yards are fourth-most and his quarterback rating of 175.53 is fifth-best. His passing yards per game (332.5) and completions (314) are sixth-most.
Young, who also ran for three touchdowns, threw for five TDs in a game three times, including against Arkansas when he also set the Alabama school record with 559 passing yards, breaking a mark that stood for 52 years. He also set SEC Championship records with 421 passing yards and 461 yards of total offense, earning game MVP honors.
He threw for over 300 yards in nine games this season and threw at least two TD passes in all 13 games, including nine games with three or more and five with four or more.
Young, whose 4,322 passing yards are the sixth most by a Heisman winner, is the 33rd Heisman winner from the Southeastern Conference and the third in a row following Smith in 2020 and Joe Burrow (LSU) in 2019. He is also the second Heisman winner to wear No. 9, joining Burrow.
The 2021 Heisman Trophy ballots went out to 928 electors, which includes 870 members of the media, our 57 living Heisman winners and one overall fan vote presented by Nissan, premier partner of the Heisman Trophy. All ballots were submitted electronically to the independent accountants at Deloitte.
Hutchinson’s second-place finish in the Heisman voting marked the highest finish by a defensive player since Notre Dame’s Manti Te’o finished second in 2012.
Pickett’s third-place finish made him the fifth Panther player to finish Top 3 in the Heisman voting.