Alabama’s Bryce Young credited his faith, family and teammates Saturday after he capped a record-setting regular season by becoming the first quarterback in school history to win the Heisman Trophy.
The six-foot sophomore was a runaway winner for the award, receiving 2,311 total points and 684 first-place votes – far ahead of second-place finisher Aidan Hutchinson (Michigan), who notched 954 total points and 78 first-place votes.
Young, who led No. 1 Alabama to another SEC Championship title and College Football Playoff appearance, began his nationally televised speech by referencing his Christian faith.
“First and foremost, I’d like to thank my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Without Him, I couldn’t be here, and through Him, all things are possible,” Young said before addressing his father and mother, who were in attendance.
“First of all, I’d like to thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Without Him I couldn’t be here and through Him all things are possible.”
🎥 ESPN pic.twitter.com/2qlgXqvr3a
— Sports Spectrum (@Sports_Spectrum) December 12, 2021
“I’d like to thank my dad for always being there for me. From day one, you’ve always been by my side, always been a supporter, more than just a father but a best friend to me,” Young said. “And for that, I’m eternally grateful. My mom, for always having my back, always supporting me. … You always had my back. You always supported me. And for that, I’m forever grateful.”
Young further credited the offensive line, receivers, running backs and defense, noting that even though it’s an “individual award,” it’s also a “team award because I couldn’t do it without any of those guys.”
Young completed 68 percent of his passes for 4,322 yards with 43 touchdowns and just four interceptions. He was second nationally and first in the conference for passing touchdowns. Further, he set school records for most touchdowns in a starting quarterback’s debut (four) and for the highest completion percentage for a single game (.909). He also set the school record for passing yards in a single game (559).
“I’ve always been someone who’s been labeled as not the prototype. Being an African American quarterback and being quote-unquote undersized and not being that prototype, I’ve always been ruled out and counted out,” said Young, who at six-foot-zero is shorter than the top quarterbacks in the NFL. For example, Tom Brady is six-foot-four, while Aaron Rodgers is six-foot-two.
“People, a lot of times, have told me that I wasn’t gonna be able to make it. And for me, it’s always been about not really proving them wrong but proving to myself what I can accomplish,” he added. “Through the grace of God, I’ve been able to make it here. And I’m truly grateful for that.”
Young’s Twitter bio reads, “Follower of Christ.”
“God is great!” he tweeted after he won the award. “Truly grateful for everyone who made this possible and for all the support I’ve received. All glory to God!”
God is great! Truly grateful for everyone who made this possible and for all the support I’ve received. All glory to God! pic.twitter.com/nsFozsuXwI
— Bryce Young (@_bryce_young) December 12, 2021
Young and Alabama place Cincinnati Dec. 31.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Bryan Bedder/Stringer
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.