Bama's Young, Anderson declare for 2023 NFL Draft

By Frank Cooney, NFL Draft Scout

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Dec 31, 2022; New Orleans, LA, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide linebacker Will Anderson Jr. (31) defensive back Jordan Battle (9) and quarterback Bryce Young (9) celebrate the victory against the Kansas State Wildcats in the 2022 Sugar Bowl at Caesars Superdome. Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

As expected, Alabama quarterback Bryce Young and linebacker Will Anderson Jr. are officially headed to the NFL and could be two of the top three players selected in this year's draft.

Anderson, the Lott IMPACT award winner, is rated No. 1 overall by NFL Draft Scout and Young, the Heisman Trophy winner, is No. 3. Both were unanimous All-Americans the last two years.

   They announced their decisions Monday after leading No. 5 Alabama to a 45-10 win over No. 11 Kansas State in the Sugar Bowl. Both went against a trend of NFL-bound players opting out of bowl games and focus on working out for the Indianapolis Combine.

Trojan tailback Jahmyr Gibbs is also headed to the NFL and Bama coach Nick Saban said more of his players may announce their decision to do the same.

USC fans appreciated those players taking part in the Sugar Bowl, where Young passed for 321 yards and five touchdowns in New Orleans. He got a loud ovation from Alabama fans when he left the game in the fourth quarter. Even Kansas State coach Chris Klieman appreciated the move, saying "that's what college football is about. I was happy Bryce played. That was really good for college football and really good for kids to see."

Anderson is one of the top pass rushers in Alabama history and is only the second, two-time Nagurski Trophy winner. He also won both the Lombardi Award and Lott IMPACT Trophy as a junior. Gibbs, a Georgia Tech transfer, ran for 926 yards and seven touchdowns and gained 444 yards on 44 catches.

Meanwhile, wide receiver Tyler Harrell and cornerback Eli Ricks, who had disappointing seasons after transferring to Alabama before this season, said interviews after the Sugar Bowl that they are undecided what they will do next -- stay at Alabama, re-enter the portal or opt for the draft.

Harrell, who came from Louisville last year, He injured his foot and didn’t see action until mid-season. Ricks, who arrived from LSU last year,  did not start until October and then missed more time with a concussion in November.

"Still debating, we're gonna see," Harrell said after the Sugar Bowl. Ricks added, "I'm gonna speak to my coach first. I'm about to speak to him right now actually. So we'll know pretty soon. We'll know by the next coming days."


Prime Time trying to land big catch

Wide receiver Tyrone Broden received only five Power Five offers out of West Bloomfield High in Michigan. But after showing his talent a couple of years at Bowling Green, he is not only getting big offers he is getting Prime offers.

The 6-7, 210-pound receiver - tied for tallest in FBS - is being lured by Pitt, West Virginia and Prime Time.

He was first beckoned by Pitt, then on Monday announced on social media that Deion Sanders wants him to transfer to Colorado.  As a redshirt junior at BG last season, he collected 506 yards and seven touchdowns on 32 receptions. He finished his career at BG with 1,199 yards and 12 touchdowns on 74 receptions.

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