Chase Young left one family for another after trade to 49ers originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area
Still, the notification he was heading across the country to play for the 49ers was the news he was not exactly expecting.
“I got the call and left the next morning,” Young said on the latest "49ers Talk" of his experience at the NFL trade deadline.
“The family came over before I left and helped me pack. It’s the business. I just had to do what I had to do. It wasn’t too bad, though.”
Young, 24, attended high school in Maryland, just 15 minutes from where he played his NFL home games with the Washington Commanders.
When he departed for the West Coast on an early morning flight, he left behind his six dogs and family members who were able to take the short drive to watch his every home game.
What he found upon stepping inside the 49ers’ locker room at Levi’s Stadium was a new family.
When it was pointed out that Young already looked comfortable in his new surroundings, he agreed, saying, “I definitely am.”
He explained why he was able to fit in so quickly with his new team.
“My teammates definitely helped with that,” he said. “When I stepped in the locker room, it was all love. Everybody embraced me. Everybody was excited that I’m here. I’m very fortunate to be around a good group of guys who let me be myself.”
“You could say I save my energy for every Sunday,” Young said of his laid-back demeanor.
“Game day, I turn it up, for sure,” he said. “When it’s not game day, I’m big into resting, just chilling.”
It might have been surprising that before Young’s first game with the 49ers in Jacksonville, he was near the front of the line, dancing, when the music was blaring as the team moved toward the field.
“Even when I came out with the boom box, that just shows that I’m having fun,” Young said. “I feel like I’m an emotional player, and I feel like whenever I play with my emotions, that’s when I’m at my best.”
Young said he views the trade to the 49ers as a “fresh start." He sustained a serious knee injury with the Commanders in his second season after being the No. 2 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. The Commanders declined to pick up his fifth-year option for next season, opening the door for him to be an unrestricted free agent in the spring.
Young said he is not looking too far ahead. His injury taught him to stay in the moment and cherish his current situation. The 49ers are 7-3 entering their Thursday night game against the Seattle Seahawks, who are 6-4 and in second place in the NFC West.
“This is a team, an organization, that wins every year,” Young said. “I’m blessed and lucky to be a part of this. I’m doing my best to put my best foot forward.”
In two games with the 49ers, Young has 1.5 sacks. With 6.5 sacks total this season, he is just one behind his career-high of 2020, when he was named NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year.
He is fitting in on and off the field. Young identified team unity as what he believes makes the 49ers special.
“The love for each other, your teammates,” he said. “That’s where it starts. If you love the men next to you, then you’re going to play hard for the guys next to you.
“That’s definitely one of the biggest things I see on the field. Guys are doing their best to open up a hole for you. That’s a real good feeling.”