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Alabama's Young named AP national player of the year
Alabama quarterback Bryce Young celebrates after Alabama defeated Auburn during last month's game in Auburn, Ala. (Associated Press)
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, and the Maxwell Award as the most outstanding player in college football.
Other winners included Georgia defensive tackle Jordan Davis, who won the Bednarik Award as the nation's top defensive player and the Outland Trophy as the most outstanding interior lineman, 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.
Walker, who finished sixth in AP player of the year voting, was also named Walter Camp player of the year.
A sophomore and first-year starter, Young passed for 4,322 yards and a school-record tying 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 the 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.
Other awards handed out Thursday night:
— Pitt receiver Tre Tipton won the Disney Spirit Award.
— Stanford quarterback Isaiah Sanders won the Wuerffel Trophy for community service.
— Pitt's Jordan Addison won the Biletnikoff Award as the nation's top receiver.
— Michigan's Jake Moody won the Lou Groza Award as the nation's best kicker.
— San Diego State's Matt Araiza took the Ray Guy Award as the best punter.
— Cincinnati cornerback Coby Bryant won the Thorpe Award as the best defensive back.
— Georgia's Nakobe Dean won the Butkus Award as the nation's top linebacker.
— Colorado State's Trey McBride won the Mackey Award for best tight end.
— Iowa's Tyler Linderbaum won the Rimington Award as the best center.
— Arkansas linebacker Grant Morgan won the Burlsworth Trophy as the top player whose career started as a walk-on.
— Hutchinson won the Lombardi Award as the best lineman.
— Anderson won the Nagurski defensive player of the year award.
AP Player of the Year voting:
Bryce Young, QB, Alabama — 137 points (42 first-place votes).
Aidan Hutchinson, DE, Michigan — 67 (4).
Kenny Pickett, QB, Pitt — 41 (2).
Will Anderson Jr., LB, Alabama — 32 (4).
C.J. Stroud, QB, Ohio State — 17 (1).
Kenneth Walker III, RB, Michigan State — 13.
Jordan Davis, DT, Georgia — 8.
Matt Corral, QB, Mississippi — 2.
Jerome Ford, RB, Cincinnati — 1.
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