Ohio State defensive end Chase Young went No. 2 overall in the 2020 NFL draft to the Washington Redskins, uniting the Maryland native with his hometown team. Here are five things to know about Young.
High praise from Urban Meyer
1) Young is considered the most purely talented player in the NFL draft, and that ability and athleticism gives him the highest upside. At 6-foot-5 and 264 pounds, Young cuts a physique like he’s chiseled out of granite. Former Ohio State coach Urban Meyer recruited Young and hasn’t been shy about his potential. He compared Young’s physical talent favorably with the Bosa brothers, who also played at Ohio State and both won Rookie of the Year — Joey in 2016 and Nick in 2019 — upon entering the NFL.
Meyer said that the Bosa brothers entered Ohio State with more prolific work ethics, while Young had to develop his. Meyer complimented Young’s work to get 16.5 sacks, six forced fumbles and 21 tackles for loss in his dominating junior year. “I don’t know if I’ve seen one like Chase,” Meyer told Yahoo Sports this week. “Standing next to him, I can’t recall seeing a player like that.”
Chase Young’s brush with NBA talent
2) Young starred in football at DeMatha Catholic, the iconic basketball power, in the Washington D.C., area before picking Ohio State over schools like Alabama, Penn State and Notre Dame. His most notable basketball footnote — other than being called off the bench for a few hard fouls — was being a teammate of Markelle Fultz in 2015-16. Young’s pick at No. 2 and Fultz’s No. 1 selection in 2017 give that DeMatha team a rare professional sports draft distinction.
Young and Fultz have long joked about meeting atop their respective drafts, as Young told Yahoo Sports at the NFL scouting combine in February: “He always said he was going to go No. 1 in the NBA draft. I always tell him, ‘You’re not going to be the only one.’ I’m going to go No. 1 in the NFL draft. God willing, I can fulfill that.” Close enough to still be impressive.
Strict upbringing with supportive parents
3) Much of Young’s success can be traced to both the discipline and genetics of his parents — Greg and Carla Young. Greg is a 6-10 former college basketball player at Bowie State. (He has the frame of an NBA power forward.) Carla is 6-foot.
Greg is a retired law enforcement officer from the Arlington County Sheriff’s office. Carla has worked at the Department of Transportation for the past 32 years. They made sure their kids didn’t specialize in one sport, as Chase played soccer until eighth grade, basketball until his junior year and even sang in the choir early in high school.
Carla proudly recounted in an interview this fall how Chase wasn’t allowed a cellphone until high school, didn’t have a television in his bedroom and couldn’t get a tattoo until college. When he finally did, he called home and asked his mom: “Are you still gonna love me if I get a tattoo?”
Young has incredible speed
4) Young played his final season at Ohio State for defensive coordinator Jeff Hafley, a longtime NFL assistant who is now the head coach at Boston College. In a film breakdown of Young with Yahoo Sports in his office earlier this year, Hafley freeze-framed the film as Young took off on the ball a half-step ahead before any of the five Florida Atlantic offensive linemen moved. “Doesn’t it look like he’s running out of the blocks in a track meet?” Hafley asked.
It’s a fitting metaphor for how Young is heading into the NFL, as he clearly had the most natural talent of any player in the sport last season. “There’s only 10 guys like him in the world,” then-FAU coach Lane Kiffin told Yahoo Sports.
Where Young needs to develop
5) Hafley’s time in the NFL before returning back to college for a single season at Ohio State gives him unique perspective at how Young could end up being used in the NFL.
Hafley told Yahoo Sports this week that the two most important defensive positions in this NFL era are rush end and shutdown corners. He expects Young to immediately impact the pass game with his rush ability, but will need to develop stopping the run. Still, he expects him to bull rush onto the NFL scene: “Chase can just wreck a game so quickly. He’ll have instant and immediate impact for him.”
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