(KANSAS CITY, Mo.) — The first round of the NFL Draft is in the books and Alabama quarterback Bryce Young was selected first from the 2023 class.
The 21-year-old former Heisman Trophy winner joined “Good Morning America” Friday morning after a night of celebration at the draft site in Kansas City, Missouri.
When NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell called his name, Young said, “It was surreal.”
“That’s something that you dream of. For that to come to fruition, I was super blessed to have my parents there and my family around me and be able to share that with them,” Young said, smiling. “It’s a moment I’ll never forget.”
While most mock drafts had Young as the preferred top pick, there were some lingering questions of if it would actually happen.
“Just being No. 1 was not something I was too focused on. I want to be in the right fit,” he said. “In big picture things like this in my life, I feel like that’s not up to me, I feel like God leads those things and I knew I was going to end up wherever he wanted me to be.”
Young continued, “For me to be a Carolina Panther, it’s surreal. I couldn’t ask for a better situation, so I’m super blessed with how things turned out.”
PHOTO: Alabama quarterback Bryce Young during the team’s NCAA college football game against Mississippi State, Oct. 22, 2022, in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Alabama quarterback Bryce Young during the team’s NCAA college football game against Mississippi State, Oct. 22, 2022, in Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Vasha Hunt/AP, FILE
Young also made history as the first Alabama player in the school’s storied football program to go No. 1 in the draft.
“For me to be able do something that hasn’t been done at the university, that means a lot. I take a lot of pride in that, it’s a huge honor,” he said. “But it doesn’t entitle me to anything at the next level. I’m super excited and ready for the work that it’s going to take and ready to get to work in my new place.”
While the 5-foot-10, 204-pound quarterback doesn’t fit the prototypical size of a successful NFL quarterback, he said “everyone’s entitled to their own opinion.” He said he is confident he can stand up to the hits he will take on the field.
“I have been this size relative to everyone around me my entire life. I know who I am. I know it’s gonna take a lot of work to be able have success at the next level and this is a new environment for me, I’m just blessed to have this opportunity — I’m ready to help the Carolina panthers win some football games.”
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