The month of December has been a delight for Bryce Young.
The high school senior quarterback—billed a star at Mater Dei High School in southern California before he took his first snap for the storied program—has lived up to the hype. Already a blue-chip recruit, a national champion, a state champion and Elite 11 finalist, more accolades are pouring in for dual-threat talent who will sign with Alabama on Dec. 18.
On Monday, Sports Illustrated named Young the quarterback of the inaugural Sports Illustrated All-American team for 2019. Selected on an annual basis starting this year, the new initiative from SI will feature 25 seniors who have best exemplified athletic excellence in high school, with the potential to do similarly at the collegiate level.
The SI All-American roster will be comprised of head-turning talents across every position on the field: one quarterback, two running backs, three wide receivers, one tight end, five offensive linemen, four defensive linemen, three linebackers, four defensive backs and two all-purpose athletes who have displayed dominance at multiple positions during their prep careers.
The historic group of future college football stars will be announced in full throughout the coming weeks, leading into college football’s Early Signing Period, which starts on Dec. 18.
“It’s more fuel for me to work hard and keep pushing to be successful at the next level,” said Young of being selected as the team’s quarterback. “Everybody who knows anything about sports knows about Sports Illustrated, so to be recognized by them is a blessing. It shows how much faith and hard work can accomplish. It’s very humbling.”
Beyond his talent and production on the field, Young has demonstrated the ability to compete and handle the weight of pressure and expectation throughout his short career. The 5’11”, 180-pounder has as quick a trigger as there is in the class, and he combines it with plenty of power and accuracy. He has an effortless release and classic delivery—a three-quarter range with some ability to change the arm angle when necessary—and he trusts his arm to push the ball down the field.
While he’s known for his right arm, Young is a more-than-capable runner as well. The athleticism he possesses only enhances his ability to put stress on a defense—he can keep his eyes downfield while maneuvering the pocket and evading the pass rush. Young’s ability to hit his target on the run is nearly as consistent as his mark from the pocket. When he decides to take off on his own, he has enough speed to move the chains and the savvy to avoid the big hit.
The future Crimson Tide passer has recorded three seven-touchdown passing games in 2019, completing well north of 70% of his passes as a senior, and double-digit rushing scores, all while leading what is almost unanimously considered the top high school program in the country. Mater Dei also resides in what may be the toughest prep league in the country in the Trinity League.
On the heels of 4,528 yards and 68 touchdowns this fall, don’t be surprised if Young is taking snaps very early on while in Tuscaloosa. A 47-6 record as a prep starter, he’ll command as many eyes as the last west coast prep star who came to the program and re-wrote just about all of the Crimson Tide’s record books: Tua Tagovailoa.
“The team has such prestigious history,” Young said of picking Alabama. “Being able to play the best competition, to have a fighting chance at a title every year, to play in the SEC and to compete with the best players around. The system is pretty similar to what I’ve done at Mater Dei and I feel it will be a good transition.
“But what surprised me was the school, they have a really good communications program, which is what I’m going to be majoring in. The opportunity for me to be outside of my comfort zone and grow as an individual is something I’ve thought about.”