With the ascent of DeSean Jackson of the Philadelphia Eagles, and with more multi-receiver sets becoming a play-to-play part of the NFL, more and more teams are looking for a smaller speed receiver to function more as a primary weapon as opposed to an ancillary threat. It's possible that no receiver in the 2011 NFL draft class is better set to benefit from his new focus than Boise State's Titus Young.
Averaging over 15 yards per reception throughout his career with the Broncos, Young finished his 44-game stretch at Boise State with 198 receptions for 2,999 yards and 25 touchdowns. He also gained 1,435 yards and scored two touchdowns on 55 kick returns, 76 yards on 11 punt returns, and 341 yards and eight touchdowns on 42 carries.
We were recently able to talk with Titus about everything from his new deal with adidas, to the pre-draft evaluation process, to the things that make Boise State's offense different. This is part two of the interview; you can read part one here.
Shutdown Corner: You mentioned the different personnel packages Boise State runs — there were so many, and you'd line up just about anywhere. Do you think you have an advantage coming into the NFL with how varied your offense was? Because you weren't running the little stick routes you would have run more often had you gone to TCU or Florida or somewhere like that.
Titus Young: Well, I feel that the coaches have done a great job preparing us at each position. Being prepared each and every week, and being prepared for the next level. We were always taught how much the details matter in football, and I felt that the real advantage I have is from the coaches preparing me. "Respect All and Fear None (was the motto)" and I feel that it was the preparation that we put in. As players, I think we ran a lot of plays that the pros run, and things like that. It's a great offense, and I'm very happy to be a part of it.
SC: On the other side of that — the standard rap on any guy with your straight-line speed (at least until you prove them wrong) is the idea that you aren't developed in your route-running. How much are you working on specific route-0running in your training right now, and what's your favorite route to run?
TY: I'd have to go with the fade route — probably the 9-route, just because it's a route I run a lot, and it's kinda like cheating sometimes, depending on who you're going against and how they're playing you. Just running by a defender, it's a really good feeling.
I'm definitely working on the top end of my routes and getting out my breaks a little faster. For instance, it might take me 2 ½ steps to get out of my break, and I'm trying to reduce that by one. Just to be a little more efficient; snapping my head around to the quarterback really quick.
SC: Do you feel that you could come in and integrate pretty quickly into a West Coast offense, or any NFL offense where it's more about timing and precision than option routes and going vertical all the time?
TY: Yeah, we did a lot of that (precise route-running) at Boise State; we weren't to tricky about the route-running. We were pretty strict about that, and the coaches wanted you to be exactly where you were supposed to be on those routes. That was about timing and being on the same page as the quarterback.
SC: I have to bring this up, because it annoys me no end — this elitist attitude that certain people have about your school and a few others — the "Little Sisters of the Poor" comments and BCS shutouts despite the fact that Boise State has been one of the more impressive programs over the last half-decade. Does it bother you at all? Do you use it as fuel, or do you just ignore it?
TY: I'd say that Coach Pete (Chris Peterson) does a great job of helping us deal with the cards that life throws at us. I really feel that it's out of our control, and we don't really focus on it. We were definitely a great program, and just to play another great team like TCU in the Fiesta Bowl was a blessing. So, I don't feel that there's any hostility as far as people treating us like underdogs — it is what it is, and we were just grateful for the opportunity to play every Saturday, or Friday, or maybe even a Tuesday or Thursday.
SC: Last question — what will the NFL team drafting Titus Young get in a player and a person?
TY: First and foremost, a guy that's humble. A guy who will be ready to come in and play his position, and play his role on the team. Whether that's carrying someone's shoulder pads or moving the chains on offense. I'm a good guy to have around the locker room; just someone who will do his job and lead by example. I want to follow the leaders for a couple of years, just find that wide receiver who's been doing it a while and show me how things are done wherever I'm at. I definitely think the GM who drafts me will have a big smile on his face.