Alabama football's Bryce Young meets with media for first time: Our five biggest takeaways
The former five-star prospect is expected to be the Crimson Tide's starter this season. Here are our takeaways from his first media appearance:
Easy to see him as a spokesperson
Whether it be for Alabama football or a company through an NIL deal, Young has the goods to be the face of both.
He speaks with humility and displays a calm, cool, collected demeanor. He looked comfortable speaking on behalf of the program as he fielded a variety of questions.
Young will have no shortage of opportunities for public speaking, whether it be talking to the media or promoting a product. The sophomore showed in his first news conference that he's capable of succeeding in both settings.
And that's a good thing for him, too. According to coach Nick Saban in July, Young was nearing $1 million in NIL deals.
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A team, not an individual
Young more often used words such as "we" and "us" instead of "I."
Look no further than his answer to a question about the disparity in NIL deals in the locker room. In that 150-word answer, he used "we" nine times, "us" six times and "our" three times. He used "I" only twice to note what "I think."
"There’s always been distractions," Young said. "There will always be distractions. That's something that (Nick) Saban’s talked about and instilled in us for a long time. For us, we all know that whatever happens externally for any person doesn’t really have anything to do with our goal and what we’re working towards."
What the starting quarterback can make in NIL deals will exceed most teammates. But Young handled this question about as well as he could. The use of group words might seem like a minor thing, but it sets the tone that Young wants his teammates to know he sees himself on the same level as them.
Impressed with Bill O'Brien
Young didn't know what to expect when Saban hired the former general manager and coach of the Houston Texans to run the Alabama offense.
O'Brien has surprised Young in a good way.
"A lot of times you think of people in the NFL and you think, ‘Oh, they’ve done it at the highest level, they might come in and think they aren’t going to work with anyone, they’re just going to do it their way,'" Young said. "But he’s super receptive to everyone in the quarterback room and everyone with offensive ideas. He’s obviously super knowledgeable and he’s really taught me a lot."
Young said that O'Brien surprised him with how open and humble he was and how well he explained everything.
Bryce Young loves football
Young immediately smiled when asked about quarterbacks he admires and studies.
He could have spent a lot more time talking about quarterback play. And the general enthusiasm he had captured how much he enjoys talking about this sport.
"I try my best to be a big student of the game," Young said, "so if I’m here naming quarterbacks that I try to look at and take pieces of their game, we’ll be here for a minute."
Bring on the pressure
Young knew what he was signing up for when he came to Tuscaloosa out of high school from southern California.
There's no shortage of anticipation for Young to be the starter, but he doesn't mind it.
"Bama is where you come for pressure and come for expectations," Young said. "Everyone here when they signed on the dotted line and decided to come here we knew it was going to come with expectations."