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Baylor Football

Taylor Young bound for big year despite the defensive change

May 16, 2017

When SicEm365’s Damon Sayles was with ESPN, he tracked down a little-known recruit by the name of Taylor Young shortly after his commitment to Baylor (his only D1 offer) in 2013.

“I’ve been talking to them on and off throughout the season, and basically, it was all about numbers,” Young told Sayles about his commitment. “When it all came down, it just fit me really nicely. I’m going in expecting to be a contributor to the team early.”

But that fit for Young has changed. He was brought in as a scrappy tackler whose size at 6-foot on his toes was an advantage in Phil Bennett’s defense. Young was often found around the edges or sitting back in two-linebacker sets to lurk in coverage.

Now Young’s role looks to make another adjustment with Phil Snow and Matt Rhule bringing their defense over from the City of Brotherly Love. With Young sustaining an injury from spring practice, there’s been little to physically see but his past parallels one of Rhule’s most successful projects, Haason Reddick.

Much like Young, Reddick came into college as an undervalued recruit and had to walk-on at Temple to get on the roster, changing positions in the process.

In high school, Reddick was a running back and safety but was ultimately moved inside on defense as a linebacker. There, he quickly took off as a pass rusher with coverage skills he retained as a defensive back in high school.

While Young has not played in the secondary, he’s often viewed as a hybrid linebacker that might as a well be a textbook, hard-hitting safeties surveying the middle of the field who also spent some time rushing the passer.

Reddick also put his hands in the dirt as a defensive end in his final few seasons in Temple’s 4-3 scheme. He quickly became a preeminent edge rusher praised for his twitchy athleticism and pursuit, characteristics and performance shared by Young as well.

Of course, Reddick has at least two inches on Young but as far as weight in concerned, Young is as bulk as they come. Young weighs 230 pounds just like Reddick in his senior year.

Not only does the physical view like eerily similar but the tale of the tape shares a similar thread as well.

Throughout his scouting process before being the 13th player off the boards in the 2017 NFL Draft, Reddick proved to be a workout warrior. He logged top-five scores in the 40-yard dash and both the vertical and broad jump at the NFL Combine, marks certainly within Young’s range if field-speed and mobility are any indications.

After logging over nine tackles per game last year, it’s an even better indicator that Young could elevate his game even more even in a system he didn’t come to Waco for.

If there’s anything stopping Young from being that dominant force Rhule helped Reddick become once Temple was on the national radar, it’s Young injury while the team is still implementing a new defense. But Young contributed as soon as he hit the field his redshirt freshman year. This is just another chance to rise to the challenge.
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