In what came as a surprise to some, Alabama’s Bryce Young and Will Anderson Jr. are both planning to play in the Sugar Bowl, ESPN’s Pete Thamel reported.

Young and Anderson are each projected to be among the first players selected in the NFL Draft next spring, and playing in a non-College Football Playoff bowl game for players in that position is unusual these days.

Young, who won the Heisman Trophy last season, is one of the nation’s top passers and NFL prospects, especially at quarterback where NFL scouts have widely viewed him in the mix with Ohio State’s CJ Stroud and Kentucky’s Will Levis. Young is the only quarterback in Alabama history to throw for 3,000-plus yards in 2 seasons (also 2021). He ranks second in the SEC and seventh nationally among Power 5 arms for passing touchdowns with 27 as he totaled 3,007 yards, good for fourth in the SEC, on 230-of-359 passing with the 27 scores and 5 interceptions.

Anderson won nearly every major award he could this postseason, as he took home 3 national awards, and Anderson was a first-team pick on each of the NCAA’s 5 officially recognized All-America lists — the FWAA, Walter Camp, Associated Press, Sporting News and AFCA — for a second season in a row.