Here's when Ohio State head coach Ryan Day knew Chase Young would be a 'generational talent'

Ethan Cadeaux
NBC Sports Washington

Over the past several months, many NFL Draft experts have pegged former Ohio State edge rusher Chase Young as a "generational talent," "can't-miss prospect" or an "immediate NFL star."

When the Redskins selected the former Buckeye with the No. 2 overall pick on Thursday, they hope any of those phrases will be able to describe their top draft pick. By investing the No. 2 overall pick in the pass rusher, the team has aspirations Young can be that game-changing player for the Burgundy and Gold for the next decade-plus.

Young's former college head coach, Ryan Day, joined NBC Sports Washington's "On The Clock" draft special on Friday and told the crew it didn't take long for him to realize Young's true potential at Ohio State.

"Right when he first got on campus and was a freshman, you saw it," Day said. "The length, the size, the power. There were times when we had NFL tackles out there, and there were times when [Chase] beat them. You saw the flashes."

As a freshman, Young played sparingly. The Buckeyes had two current NFL players -- San Francisco 49ers Nick Bosa and Cincinnati Bengals Sam Hubbard -- as the team's two starting defensive ends. Still, Young was able to manage 3.5 sacks and five tackles-for-loss.

Things were a lot different a year later; Young first started to break out was during his sophomore season in 2018. As a full-time starter, the pass rusher finished the season with 10.5 sacks and 14.5 tackles-for-loss 

"He made some big plays for us as a sophomore," Day said. "He made a huge play to win the game against Penn State."

Day described the 2019 season as the year that the pass rusher was able to put it all together and become "dominant." Young finished his junior campaign with a nation-leading 16.5 sacks and 21 tackles-for-loss despite missing two games.

Young was dominant on the field, but there was one other aspect that the Ohio State head coach truly saw the pass rusher improve in last season.

"I think his leadership was excellent. I think he really came into his own," Day said.

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Day credited much of Young's on-field success as a testament to the talent he faces every day in practice. 

"Coming out of Ohio State, you're going against the best players every day on the other side of the ball," Day said. "It's like practicing in the NFL. It's one thing to get drafted and have the opportunity, but it's another to see guys do so well and create careers in the NFL."

Although much of the hype surrounding Young is justified, the 21-year-old has yet to take an NFL snap. No matter how highly-touted of a prospect Young might be, there's a tremendous amount of pressure that comes with the No. 2 overall pick.

However, by coming to Washington, Young has two of his former college teammates -- Terry McLaurin and Dwayne Haskins -- to use as resources.

McLaurin said during the "On The Clock" show that Young's transition to the NFL will be seamless, as long as the pass rusher as "willing to learn."

"He has all the things that you look for at that position physically. If he continues to learn and continues to be hungry, he can be successful in this league," McLaurin said. "As long as he continues to come in here and learn as much as he can, apply that to what he doing in practice to the field in the games, he'll be very successful."

Like McLaurin, Day is confident Young has what it takes to be a star in the NFL.

"When you look at his talent and ability, but also his pass rush skill set, it's pretty elite right now," Day said. "He's going to make a lot of plays and I think he's going to be a generational talent."

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Here's when Ohio State head coach Ryan Day knew Chase Young would be a 'generational talent' originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

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