AP Photo / Brynn Anderson
Alabama quarterback Bryce Young has been named the 2021 Maxwell Award winner as the nation’s best player.
Young defeated Pittsburgh quarterback Kenny Pickett and Michigan State running back Kenneth Walker III to earn the honor, which was announced Thursday at The Home Depot college football awards.
Alabama is beginning to have a monopoly on this award. Young is the fifth player in the show’s history to win it, and all five have arrived since 2013.
AJ McCarron (2013), Derrick Henry (2015), Tua Tagovailoa (2018) and DeVonta Smith (2020) previously won the Maxwell Award.
Head coach Nick Saban and his staff continue to do a remarkable job of maintaining their consistent performance year after year, despite losing more talent than any other NFL program.
Young had the difficult task of replacing Mac Jones at the Crimson Tide center. Jones finished third in Heisman’s voting last year, leading the nation with 4,500 passing yards, 311 completions and a 77.4 completion percentage.
Despite having no initial experience in 2021, Young has thrived and was a major reason why Alabama remained one of the best teams in the country. He finished with 4,322 passing yards, a 68.0 completion percentage and 43 passing touchdowns.
Even in the Crimson Tide’s loss to Texas A&M on October 9, Young threw for 369 yards and three touchdowns.
No other program in the country can match Alabama’s talent year after year. The team lost Jones, Smith, Jaylen Waddle, Patrick Surtain II, Alex Leatherwood and Najee Harris in the first round of this year’s NFL draft alone.
Thanks to the development of Young and others, Crimson Tide went 12-1 and earned the No. 1 spot on the college football playoff field after beating Georgia 41-24 in the SEC championship game. Young dominated that meeting with 421 passing yards and three touchdowns, plus 40 rushing yards and one more touchdown.