Everything Alabama football players said at 2022 SEC Media Days


Courtesy of UA Athletics

(Left to right): Linebacker Will Anderson Jr., quarterback Bryce Young, and safety Jordan Battle pose for a picture for 2022 SEC Media Days at the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta, Ga.

Ashlee Woods | @ashleemwoods, Contributing Columnist

Three Alabama players made the trip to Atlanta, Georgia, for the 2022 edition of the SEC Media Days. Quarterback Bryce Young, linebacker Will Anderson Jr. and safety Jordan Battle all spoke to the media Tuesday morning.  

On circling games on the calendar

It’s hard for fans to not hype up potential showdowns on the calendar. The Crimson Tide has plenty of those this season, most notably on Oct. 8 against Texas A&M at Bryant-Denny Stadium. While fans may already be looking ahead to that game, Battle said the team is focused on one thing at a time.

“We focus week in and week out on each game that we have coming up,” Battle said. “We have to know that we are getting every team’s best. I don’t think we are allowed to circle dates. We just have to focus on each game, on getting better each week. So, it gets to that end goal, the National Championship, is what we’re focusing on.”  

That Oct. 8 matchup gained even more hype since head coaches Nick Saban and Jimbo Fisher traded blows at each other’s programs about name, image and likeness. The two sides have cooled off with Saban apologizing for calling out the Aggies but the hype train is still trucking along. Still, the Crimson Tide is not focused on what was said off the field.  

“We approach every game the same,” Anderson said. “We know the history behind that game. We know what to expect. We know what type of game it is going to be. We are just going to go out there and play Alabama football.” 

There is one other game that popped up Tuesday morning: the Nov. 8 trip to LSU. Last season’s game was a tough one for Alabama and the team is expecting the same.  

“LSU is such a storied program with a great history,” Young said. “Whenever we play LSU, it’s going to be a dogfight, and we have a tremendous amount of respect for them.”  

On the most important things fans should know about each player 

There isn’t much fans don’t know about Young, Anderson and Battle. But Tuesday morning, all three players shared what traits are most important for fans to know.  

“The most important thing is that I am a man of faith,” Young said. “I feel like that’s most important in my life, and that’s what guides my actions.”  

Anderson said that he wants to show people that he is a good leader for his team.  

“I love my teammates,” Anderson said. “I am very supportive. I am very positive, very energized, and always have a smile on my face. I want to leave a great legacy at The University of Alabama.” 

Battle said that he thinks he’s the funny guy in the locker room.  

“People might not say I’m funny, but I think I’m funny,” Battle said. “I think I could have a career as comedian.”  

Besides being the funny man in the locker room, he wants people know how hard he works.  

“I’m a hard worker on and off the field,” Battle said. “I think that’s the big thing for me is hard work. I feel like I’ve always had that motivation to work hard.”  

On the 2022 defense 

The defensive side of the ball for the Crimson Tide has turned heads for years under Saban and this year is no different. Young told reporters what it’s like to face players like Anderson and linebacker Dallas Turner every day.  

“Going against the best in Will [Anderson] and Dallas [Turner], that prepares us all on offense,” Anderson said. “Those guys are tremendous players and being able to compete with them day in and day out is what makes us all better. Knowing what I can and can’t do against fierce pass rushers makes us all better.” 

Young also said that he’s glad he’s not facing them on Saturday, as every other day in the week is enough for him.  

Battle on his motivation coming back for his senior year 

Battle heading into this offseason was touted as a top NFL safety prospect, alongside former Notre Dame safety Kyle Hamilton. Unlike Hamilton, Battle decided to stay in Tuscaloosa for one more season. Battle explained exactly why he did that.  

“Obviously the most motivation to come back was the National Championship and trying to get that National Championship back,” Battle said. “But I’m also getting a degree for my mom and for myself as well. That’s a big thing in the family. My mom and dad have degrees, so like I say, I want to get the degree as well.” 

On losing the National Championship game 

Most people didn’t expect Alabama to reach the national championship game, let alone win it. With former Alabama receivers John Metchie III and Jameson Williams getting injured during the postseason, Alabama’s title hopes slipped away. That Jan. 10 loss to the Georgia Bulldogs wasn’t the successful outcome the team hoped for.  

“The biggest goal for our team is always to win the National Championship, and we didn’t meet that goal last year,” Anderson said. “So, last season was not the successful season that we wanted. All the blood, sweat, and tears that we put into a season is towards getting to the National Championship and winning it, and last year we got there, and we did not finish the way we wanted to.” 

That disappointment has now turned into fuel for this upcoming season.  

“I definitely have a lot of motivation and a lot of fuel to do that [win the national title],” Young said. “I think we have that as a team. It’s about making sure, as a team, we’re doing the little things right, that we’re working together and that we trust in the process.”