What other Heisman Trophy finalists Aidan Hutchinson, CJ Stroud said about Bryce Young

Nick Kelly
The Tuscaloosa News

NEW YORK — Ohio State quarterback CJ Stroud has watched Alabama football quarterback Bryce Young play longer than most. 

Stroud and Young both grew up in California. Now they're both 2021 Heisman Trophy finalists. 

Stroud, Young and Michigan defensive end Aidan Hutchinson each spoke with reporters in New York ahead of the Heisman Trophy ceremony at 7 p.m. CT on Saturday on ESPN. The fourth finalist, Pittsburgh quarterback Kenny Pickett, was in Baltimore on Friday to accept the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm award. 

The two other finalists Friday with Young stood at opposite ends of the familiarity spectrum. Stroud has watched Young play since middle school. Hutchinson hasn't seem him play before. 

Nonetheless, Young has impressed both. 

"I see his numbers and he's got a lot of great numbers," Hutchinson said. "I know he's a great player. He's here." 

Stroud said he's always been impressed with how Young plays. 

"The way he moves in the pocket," Stroud said. "The zip that he has on the ball. He has great touch. You've seen him throw the ball. He throws without effort. I am definitely in awe of his game. A student of his game. I'm trying to watch him to get my game better." 

Young is second in the nation with 43 touchdowns over 13 games. Stroud has thrown 38 over 11 games. Meanwhile, Pickett has tossed 42 over 13. 

According to BetMGM as of Sunday, Young is the favorite to win the award at -3000. Hutchinson is second (+2000) followed by Pickett (+2500) and Stroud (+3000). 

If Young wins, he will become the first Alabama quarterback and fourth Crimson Tide player with a Heisman Trophy. 

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