There were two things we heard about Alabama quarterback's Bryce Young last week at the NFL Combine – both important, if not literal.
The first, from tight end Cameron Latu, Young's Crimson Tide teammate:
"He lives in the building," Latu said. "He's the last one out, first one in. He's one of those guys."
Young, of course, didn't actually call the Mal H. Moore Athletic Facility in Tuscaloosa home. But Latu's point – showcasing how dedicated Young is to his craft – is one that'll resonate as teams around the NFL take deep dives into the makeup of this year's class of quarterbacks.
"I really pride myself in my leadership," Young said. "I know that's something I have to earn at the next level. I'm really excited to get into a locker room whatever team does take me and try to earn that trust and respect from the locker room. I get that it's not something I'm entitled to, but at the next level I'm excited to put in the work to try to earn that trust."
The second, from Young's over-capacity press conference at 8 a.m. Friday morning:
"I've been this size, respectfully, my whole life," Young said. "I know who I am. I know what I can do. For me, it's fair. Everyone can speculate and ask when the questions are necessary. I'm going to continue to control what I can control. I'm going to keep working my hardest to improve myself at the position. I'm confident in myself. I know what I can do. I'm just excited to be at the next level."
Young, of course, hasn't been this size his whole life – he's a former infant, after all. The point is more that in his playing career – which includes winning the 2021 Heisman Trophy – he's been about the size he measured on Saturday: 5-foot-10, 204 pounds.
With talk of Young's potential measurements buzzing around downtown Indianapolis last week, both Colts head coach Shane Steichen and general manager Chris Ballard discussed the shifting landscape of quarterback body types – which includes someone on the smaller end like Young, to Florida's 6-foot-4, 244-pound, 4.43-second 40-yard-dash-running quarterback Anthony Richardson.
"You're getting a lot more athletes playing the position, so they're going to come in different shapes, different sizes, some tall, some short, some athletes," Ballard said. "The ability to move, navigate the pocket, escape the pocket, make plays with your feet — those are all things that we're seeing in our league. Not that we haven't seen them before, but I think it's even become more prevalent."
"The physical traits, guys come in different shapes and sizes," Steichen said. "We've seen Hall of Famers who are 6-foot, we've seen Hall of Famers who are 6-5. It's that 'it' factor."
Still, how teams evaluate Young's size in relation to his on-field accomplishments – he threw 80 touchdowns against only 12 interceptions in two seasons as Alabama's starter – and strong off-field reputation will be continue to be debated on banter-based talk shows in the coming weeks. Young, though, said last week he's not concerned with any of those evaluations, and is focused things he can control in the lead-up to April's NFL Draft.
"I'm grateful for everyone's opinions, for the media," Young said. "I'm not really on social media that much, not really watching too much about me. I respect everyone's opinions, but I focus on what I can control. I take the advice and the direction of the people I trust, and the people at the next level."