Finding standouts among Alabama football players is like finding stars on a clear summer night. Just look.

You don’t become the premier college football program in the nation by not having some key cogs in the machine. Whether you chose to judge Alabama’s players by postseason awards, NFL Draft selection or any other metric you can formulate, Alabama has had far more than its fair share of superstars during its historic run under coach Nick Saban.

However, being a superstar doesn’t make a player the “face” of a program. That takes talent, time and a little luck. Alabama’s players certainly have the talent. Who has a path towards becoming the — or at least a — “face” of the program? See below.

QB Bryce Young

Alabama’s wet-behind-the-ears quarterback answered all the questions about him being a first-time starter last season. Young wasn’t able to win the ultimate prize, which is always a national championship under Saban. However, Young did everything else imaginable, which included winning an SEC championship and a Heisman Trophy. Young is the natural selection to become Bama’s most notable standout. However, he doesn’t play up the part. He’s not very quotable and he’s not very flashy. Also, the media can become bored with repetition. Young was an incredible story last season, but, especially with a Heisman in his trophy case, he could become old news. Peyton Manning’s final season in 1997 had that feeling when he returned for his senior year at Tennessee.

Edge Will Anderson Jr.

Anderson isn’t even old enough to buy a beer, but he’s already considered one of the elite edge defenders in college football. He also has more upside than Mount Everest. It’s a consensus that Anderson will be the top pick in the NFL Draft whenever he decides to go pro, which will likely be after this season. Anderson has already drawn comparisons to players that have had NFL Hall of Fame careers, like former linebacker Derrick Thomas. As far as being the face of the program, there is one aspect of Anderson’s game that is incredible but could undermine his greatness among casual football fans and any media members lacking a discerning eye. Anderson is as good against the run as he is at rushing the quarterback. Coaches love it and it’s one of his best attributes, but it might not be as scintillating to some. Sacks carry more weight than tackles for a loss.

DB Kool-Aid McKinstry

Admittedly, McKinstry is on this list partly because of his name, which I can’t get enough of. Perhaps I could be Gatorade Hooker? Nevertheless, McKinstry’s play is what separates him from other men with unique names. Simply earning playing time in a deep secondary was a major feat that McKinstry accomplished last season. Remember, Ga’Quincy, which is his given name, was just a freshman in 2021. We’ve seen defensive backs with unusual nicknames become the face of a program before. Who can forget Tyrann Mathieu at LSU? Everyone loved The Honey Badger.

LBs Henry To’o To’o and Dallas Turner

OK, I’m cheating a bit here. As you might have noticed there are two listings in the heading above. Why? Alabama’s linebackers have so much talent that they could become the talking point that fans gravitate to. They also have pretty good names. To’o To’o proved himself as a valuable playmaker, leader and defensive play caller in his first year at Bama after transferring from Tennessee. Turner appears to be a star on the rise after he garnered various honors in his first year at Alabama in 2021.

A transfer to be named later

Again, this is sort of skirting the rules of this assignment, but it’s easy to imagine someone coming out of the transfer portal and stepping upon the national stage. It happened last year when receiver Jameson Williams transferred from Ohio State and became one of the most explosive and productive receivers in the country. Alabama took in 3 transfers in the 2022 class: receiver Jermaine Burton from Georgia Tech, running back Jahmyr Gibbs from Georgia Tech and cornerback Eli Ricks from LSU. Any could become stars, but Burton probably has the best opportunity considering Alabama’s depth chart — and Saban’s recent salvo directed at a couple of the freshman receivers. Bama could use some help at receiver.