Bryce Young enjoys being a mentor for young Alabama quarterbacks


TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Bryce Young is entering his third year in Alabama’s program and his second year as the Crimson Tide’s starting quarterback. The 20-year-old junior is now the oldest player in his positional space, which also includes two other scholarship signal-callers for the 2022 season.

Jalen Milroe is now a sophomore, having served as the No. 3 quarterback last year while Ty Simpson joined the program during college football playoff prep. Together, the two freshmen have attended four college games, making this spring and summer important for their development. And Young has been a reliable source of guidance for both.

“We’re happy with where they are — not happy, but happy with the progress they’re making,” head coach Nick Saban said at Pro Day in Alabama last month. “It’s a lot of stuff thrown at them very quickly, and the cumulative effect can slow them down a bit. But they are bright guys. They work hard. You are doing the right things.

“And I think any time you have an experienced player, especially someone who understands, is smart, prepares well for the game and sets a great example for everyone else, like Bryce does, it encourages the development of young players really in this position.”

Young was his sophomore team leader last season and was voted permanent captain by his teammates. Leading not only the team, but also the offensive and his position group is a focus of the second-year starter. He was a solid leader last year but now has a full season of experience to draw on when mentoring teammates.

That experience is invaluable and something Mac Jones helped Young with in 2020.

“It’s a different dynamic for the entire quarterback room this year because I have experience and I can bring back references and memories from last season,” Young said. “I really feel like it’s just my job and kind of my duty to try to help these guys and try to share some of the knowledge I’ve gained over the last year. And I like doing that.

“J-Mill and Ty are both really good guys, really good players, great guys, super talented. That’s why I like to talk to them and try to give them my perspective. When Mac was playing my freshman year, I was blessed to have Mac over there and talking about why he did it and how he saw it. To be honest, I feel like that was a big part of my development.

“And I want to do everything I can to emulate that and try to help them as much as I can because they both have extremely bright futures. So I’m enjoying the quarterback room. I have a feeling we have a great room. I bounce ideas off them, they bounce ideas off me. So I am very happy about the cooperation that we have.”

Milroe played in four games as a true freshman in the 2021-22 season, completing three passes for 41 yards and one touchdown and rushing for 57 yards on 15 tries. After second spring practice last weekend, Saban praised the redshirt freshman for the progress he’s made and the confidence he’s shown in Alabama’s 12 drills.

Young shared his thoughts on Milroe’s development since he enrolled at UA a year ago.

“J-Mil is someone I’m obviously very close with,” Young said. “I’m around him as often as anyone. Seeing him come in last year as a young player and really just trying to learn offense and trying to understand the reads and trying to put things together just like I was my freshman year. Now, on to that next jump, you can see he’s getting more and more comfortable. You can see him making decisions in the bag. You can see him doing pre-snap reads, pre-snap adjustments, and post-snap reads.

“You can tell he’s really starting to put things together. I’ve also seen him mature as a leader. You come in as a newbie, it’s all about figuring yourself out, getting your feet wet and figuring out what you’re doing. Now he’s doing this and he’s got the stuff downstairs and he’s trying to get other people around. I’m super proud of his development.

“He’s done really well in training and in scrimmages. I’m very happy for him and I know he will keep working and getting better.”

Young, Milroe and Simpson will participate in one final practice session on Thursday, April 14 before attending Saturday’s A-Day Game at Bryant-Denny Stadium (2 p.m. CT on SEC Network+).

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Contact Charlie Potter via personal message or on Twitter (@Charlie_Potter).

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