Bryce Young Focused on Turning Page To Next Season with New Faces
Alabama's two brightest stars, Bryce Young and Will Anderson spoke to the media this afternoon for the first time since the national championship game, with both echoing a sentiment of moving past January's difficult loss as well as focusing on turning the page and getting physically and mentally ready for next season.
On defense, much will be the same with many starters from the championship game returning around Anderson such as Dallas Turner on his opposite side, Henry To'o To'o in the middle of the defense, as well as much of the secondary.
On offense however, things will look very different around Bryce Young, with all three of his leading receivers from last season in John Metchie, Jameson Williams and Slade Bolden being replaced.
"There’s a lot of new guys, a lot of new pieces. But when you go to a school like this, that’s what you expect. There’s always constant movement, people that are gonna step into new roles. But there’s a lot of guys that, even though the public didn’t get to see play as much last year, those are guys that I still see working and working day in and day out last year behind the scenes and guys that have done a lot of work to improve themselves and got an opportunity to take advantage of these circumstances," Young stated on all the new faces around him.
One new face who could potentially be massive for the Crimson Tide in 2022 is a transfer portal addition, former Georgia Tech running back Jahmyr Gibbs.
Gibbs is an incredibly dynamic and versatile back with pass catching ability the likes of which Alabama has not seen in a long time. To go along with with 746 rushing yards on just 143 attempts (over 5.0 YPC), Gibbs added 36 receptions for 470 yards, good enough for 13 yards per reception for the Yellow Jackets in 2021.
Young was excited at the prospect of working with Gibbs and what it could potentially mean for the Crimson Tide offense in 2022.
Expected to step up receiver wise around Young will include guys like rising sophomores Agiye Hall and Ja'Corey Brooks, as well as rising juniors Traeshon Holden and Thaiu Jones-Bell.
Perhaps the most important pass catcher could be a new addition from the transfer portal: Georgia's leading receiver in 2021, Jermaine Burton.
Burton, expected to be a key cog for the Crimson Tide offense in 2022, is someone who Young says he is familiar with and knows from their shared California roots.
"He’s someone who came in and has a really professional mindset as far as early, right when he transferred in, he wanted to know the plays, wanted to know the system, meeting with [Holomon Wiggins], meeting with me and asking me questions about how we did stuff, how our operation worked, certain routes, the specifics. He’s someone who has worked hard to catch up as quickly as possible and kind of bridge that gap," Young said on Burton's early impact in Tuscaloosa.
With a long spring and summer ahead, there is certainly lots to be figured out on the Alabama depth chart, but it seems the Crimson Tide have turned the page and things are off to a good start.