RALPH D. RUSSO / AP College Football Writer
Alabama quarterback Bryce Young is The Associated Press college football player of the year, giving the Crimson Tide their second consecutive winner.
Young received 42 of 53 first-place votes from AP Top 25 voters and 137 points to easily finish ahead of Michigan defensive end Aidan Hutchinson (four first-place votes, 67 points) for the AP Player of the Year honor presented by Regions Bank.
Pittsburgh quarterback Kenny Pickett was third; Alabama linebacker Will Anderson Jr. was fourth; and Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud was fifth.
Young, Huchinson, Pickett and Stroud are the finalists for the Heisman Trophy, which will be presented Saturday in New York.
Later Thursday, during the ESPN College Football Awards show, Young also won the Davey O’Brien Award as the nation’s top quarterback.
Other winners included Georgia defensive tackle Jordan Davis, who won the Bednarik Award as the nation’s top defensive player, and Kenneth Walker III of Michigan State, who became the first Spartans player to win the Doak Walker award as the nation’s best running back.
A sophomore and first-year starter, Young passed for 4,322 yards and 43 touchdowns, leading the top-ranked Tide to the Southeastern Conference championship and the No. 1 seed in the College Football Playoff. The Tide will face No. 4 Cincinnati on Dec. 31 at the Cotton Bowl.
Young said he felt well prepared for the challenge of leading a program that has set the standard in college football for more than a decade, but nothing speaks louder than performance.
“Settling in and getting to play in different environments, getting to be put in situations, naturally, makes you more comfortable as leaders,” Young told AP. “It’s always about what you do in offseason, how you carry yourself, but any time you’re able to produce in big moments and you’re able to demonstrate a lot, that’s always a big part, as well. Because leadership is a lot about action.”
Young capped his season with an SEC championship game-record 421 yards passing against Georgia last week.
Alabama receiver DeVonta Smith became the first Alabama player to win AP player of the year in 2020. Young is the 18th quarterback to win the award since it was established in 1998.
Young, a Southern California native and former five-star recruit, said the high expectations are what drew him to Alabama and help motivate him.
“You want to live up to the pressure and to the hype of it all,” he said.
Earlier this week, Georgia’s Nakobe Dean won the Butkus Award as the nation’s top linebacker and Hutchinson took the Lombardi Award as the best lineman.