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Bryce Young Named the ASWA Amateur Athlete of the Year

Crimson Tide quarterback won the Heisman Trophy while leading Alabama to both the SEC title and National Championship Game.

It's a pretty good bet that if a college football player from the state of Alabama wins the Heisman Trophy, he's also going to be named the state's Amateur Athlete of the Year. 

All five Heisman winners since the state award was first handed out by the Alabama Sports Writers Association in 1974, had done so. Alabama quarterback Bryce Young became the sixth on Tuesday, keeping the streak intact.  

But it was nearly snapped.

In extremely close voting by the ASWA membership, Young edged Auburn gymnast Sunisa Lee for the honor. 

While leading the Crimson Tide to the Southeastern Conference title and the National Championship Game, Young set the Alabama single-season records for passing yards (4,872) and touchdowns (47). 

He finished his sophomore year 366-for-547 with 47 scores compared to seven interceptions. 

In addition to being the first Crimson Tide quarterback to win the Heisman, he was also named college football's Player of the Year by the Associated Press and The Sporting News, won the Maxwell Award, and also the Davey O'Brien and Manning awards, which are both presented to the nation's top quarterback

He's the Crimson Tide's fourth Heisman winner since 2009 and second in as many seasons. 

Previous Heisman winners who had been named the state's amateur athlete of the year were Bo Jackson (1985), Mark Ingram Jr. (2009), Cam Newton (2010), Jameis Winston (2013), Derrick Henry (2015), and DeVonta Smith (2020).  

Pat Sullivan also won the Heisman in 1971. 

Lee was the 2022 NCAA beam champion, and the runner-up in the all-around while helping lead the Tigers to their best finish in program history, placing fourth at the NCAA Championships.

Before enrolling at Auburn, the Minnesota product was the Olympic gold medalist in the 2020 Tokyo Summer Games (which were delayed and held in 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic), where Team USA won the silver medal. She was also the 2021 U.S. champion on bars, and the runner-up in all-around and beam.

The ASWA will celebrate its 50th anniversary on Sunday with its annual convention and awards banquet in Birmingham.

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