The hopes of Alabama football have been places in the hands of redshirt freshman quarterback Bryce Young , following the departure of Mac Jones off to the NFL. While Young's experience is minimal at Alabama, many are not expecting much of a drop-off when he takes over under center. Former Alabama quarterback and SEC Network analyst Greg McElroy explained why he sees a bright future with Young at quarterback, despite him being a bit of an unknown.
"He's a stud. And there's no denying his pedigree, there's no denying his physical attributes. The guy's unbelievable," McElroy said ahead of SEC Media Days on Monday. "Can run around, can create, is accurate, and does a pretty good job of going through his progressions. You talk to anybody that was on that staff last year, they'll tell you he has a really good foundational understanding of how to have his feet where they need to be, when they need to be there. So, he's already far ahead of where he needs to be. But, here's the but, until the lights are bright and it's your gig, it's still a little bit of an unknown.
"Now, I'd love to have the starting point that he has with the physical attributes and all the other things I just talked about, but can he step into the shoes of a vacated first-round pick in Mac Jones — who had one of the best years we've ever seen at the quarterback spot — that's to be determined. I'm still very optimistic about it, that's for sure."
A former five-star recruit, Young was the prize possession of the 2020 recruiting class, as he was the No. 2 overall player in the class and the No. 1 dual-threat quarterback. There was some chatter that Young might win the starting job to replace Tua Tagovailoa in 2020, but that ended up going to Jones instead. Still, Young managed to make his way onto the field some.
Jones played in nine games during his freshman year at Alabama. He went 13-of-22 on the season for 156 yards and a touchdown, which came against Kentucky when he hit eventual Heisman Trophy winner DeVonta Smith on a touchdown pass. While that experience is minimal, Young has gotten his feet wet going into his second year with the program.
Young will be thrown into the fire right away as a starter this year, as Alabama opens up the season with a massive game against Miami at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. He'll then face Mercer in the second week of the season before hitting the road to open SEC play against the Florida Gators.
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