Another year, another Alabama Crimson Tide Heisman Trophy winner.
Alabama sophomore quarterback Bryce Young was awarded the 2021 Heisman Trophy at a ceremony in New York City on Saturday night.
Young received 684 first-place votes and 2,311 points to earn college football's most prestigious award. Michigan senior defensive end Aidan Hutchinson got the second-most first-place votes with 78 and finished second to Young with 954 points. Pittsburgh senior quarterback Kenny Pickett (631 points) and Ohio State freshman quarterback C.J. Stroud (399 points) rounded out the top four.
The 20-year-old signal caller becomes the second straight Alabama player to take home the Heisman Trophy and the fourth overall. Running back Mark Ingram (20019), running back Derrick Henry (2015) and wide receiver DeVonta Smith (2020) were past winners, making Young the first Bama quarterback to claim the Heisman.
Alabama trails only Notre Dame (seven), Ohio State (seven), Oklahoma (seven) and USC (six) for the most Heisman winners of all time.
After attempting just 22 passes as a freshman, Young took the nation by storm in his first season as the starter. He made history right off the bat in the opener against Miami, throwing for the most passing yards (344) and touchdowns (four) by a Crimson Tide quarterback in their starting debut.
That debut performance was no fluke either, as Young went on to put up 4,322 passing yards (fourth-most in the nation) and 43 touchdowns (second-most) with a 68% completion percentage for the 12-1 Crimson Tide. He ran in another three scores and threw just four interceptions.
Young's biggest Heisman moment came on the road against rival Auburn in the Iron Bowl, when he engineered a 97-yard game-tying touchdown drive to force overtime in an eventual 4OT victory.
The Alabama quarterback made one final Heisman statement the following week with a dazzling performance in the SEC Championship Game, totaling 461 yards (421 passing, 60 rushing) and four touchdowns (three passing, one rushing) in a 41-24 win over previously-unbeaten Georgia. The Bulldogs hadn’t allowed more than 17 points all season before facing Young and Co.
Since he isn’t eligible for the 2022 NFL Draft, Young will have the chance to become just the second two-time Heisman winner next season. Former Ohio State running back Archie Griffin stands as the only multi-time winner with his victories in 1974 and 1975.
Hutchinson was the Heisman runner-up after totaling 14 sacks, good for second-most in the nation, including three in an upset win over Ohio State in November. Hutchinson also added 58 combined tackles and two forced fumbles en route to winning Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year and helping Michigan capture the Big Ten championship. He was trying to become just the second defender to win the Heisman, and the first since fellow Wolverine Charles Woodson in 1997.
Pickett, the 2021 ACC Player of the Year, threw for 4,319 yards and a conference-record 42 touchdown passes while leading Pitt to its first-ever ACC championship.
Meanwhile, Stroud made a strong bid to become just the third freshman to win the award. The Big Ten Freshman of the Year ranked among the top eight quarterbacks in the country in passing yards (3,862), touchdowns (38) and completion percentage (70.9) to help the 10-2 Buckeyes reach the Rose Bowl.
Young and Hutchinson are the only Heisman finalists competing in this year’s College Football Playoff, and they could meet in the National Championship Game. No. 1 Alabama will take on No. 4 Cincinnati in the Cotton Bowl at 3:30 p.m. ET on Dec. 31. Bama is seeking its second straight national title.
Bama-Cincy will be followed by No. 2 Michigan versus No. 3 Georgia in the Orange Bowl.