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Alabama quarterback Bryce Young was not going to play for the Crimson Tide. The five-star, No. 1 overall recruit out of Mater Dei committed to stay home and play his college ball at USC in July of 2018.
14 months later, that was no longer the case. Young took an official visit to Tuscaloosa in July of 2019 and flipped his commitment from the Pac-12 to the SEC in September of that year.
A large part of the reigning Heisman Trophy winner’s recruitment to Alabama involved Steve Sarkisian, who was the offensive coordinator under Nick Saban at the time.
“Alabama really wasn’t on our radar,” Young’s father, Craig, said to Al.com, “but it intensified again when Coach Sarkisian came back to the program and became the offensive coordinator.”
On the flip side, Sarkisan knew what Young would become and wouldn’t take no for an answer.
“You know, I thought Bryce was going to be a really good player,” Sarkisian said earlier this week. “You know, he was committed to another school at the time when I got to Alabama and I just felt like ‘Man, this guy has a chance to be special.’ We took our shot and we went for it and ultimately he chose to come to Alabama when I was there. And he’s, I think, lived up to the billing and/or exceeded it.”
As a result, Bryce Young and Steve Sarkisian share a special bond that transcends heart-breaking losses
That was the clear after the game played out in Austin this afternoon.
The nation’s top-ranked team traveled to Texas on Saturday for an all-out war that came down to the final minute. After the home team took a lead with 90 seconds left, Young led his offense on a nine-play 61-yard drive to set up the eventual game-winning field goal.
Sarkisian and the Longhorns had their hearts ripped out of their chests and the college football world was set ablaze. That didn’t stop the man who recruited Young to Alabama from showing him some love.
Following the game, as Saban spoke to the media, Sarkisian and Young shared a wonderful exchange in which the former hugged and congratulated the latter. The mutual respect was apparent.
In a moment where Sarkisian could have went into the locker room after a loss, he didn’t. He took the time to love up on the guy he recruited to, ultimately, beat him on Saturday. Credit to Sark.