Chase Young Has Entered Generational Talent Territory

Photo: © Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Ohio State is known for its talent that it sends to the NFL year after year, but ever so often there's a different type of talent that comes along. Something like we've never seen before. That's the case with Chase Young. Just when we thought he couldn't surpass what we've seen from him, he goes out and delivers another dominant performance.

On Saturday, Young once again put the country on notice with a jaw-dropping four sack and 5.0 tackle for loss performance in a dominant 38-7 victory over Wisconsin. Double teams, chip blocks, and hilariously single blocking him with tight ends -- the Badgers through everything but the kitchen sink at Young and there wasn't anything that they could do in order to slow him down.

"Generational Talent" is always a phrase that I'm hesitant to use because I think it's become a cliche term to describe nearly every standout college football performer, but we are witnessing something different. A 6-foot-5, 265 pound unstoppable force that has the near perfect game that translates to the Sunday's. Following his dominant performance, he joined Mike Vrabel as the only two Buckeyes to record multiple seasons with10-plus sacks.

Who is Chase Young?

Young’s father, Greg, who is 6-foot-10 , and a former college basketball player at Bowie State, is a highly notable retired sheriff in Arlington County (Maryland). His mother, Carla, is 6-foot, and has worked for the federal government in the Department of Transportation for over 30 years.

It’s easy to see where Young’s body dimensions, traits, and discipline came from. He also has a sister, Weslie, that played basketball at North Carolina Wesleyan (2015-2019). Chase was heavily involved in soccer and basketball, which were the games he loved.

Beginning his football career at six years old, but his dad forced him to play with the older groups in order to develop his toughness. Playing in those circumstances taught him grit and a different speed of the game.

Before becoming a product of powerhouse Dematha High School (Maryland), he attended Pallotti High School. Transferring following his sophomore season to seek more opportunities and exposure, Young flourished during his final two seasons. His continued basketball background speaks for itself. Young became best friends with former No. 1 overall pick of the 2017 NBA Draft, Markelle Fultz. Young and the Orlando Magic point guard still share a personal bond to this day.

On the gridiron, Young was a key defensive piece off of the edge that helped lead the school to a perfect 12-0 record and a state championship victory in his final season (2016). Young went on to collect 118 tackles, 37 tackles-for-loss, and 19 sacks.

Upon his arrival to Columbus, he was nicknamed “The Predator”, as he recorded four sacks during his first season. In an expanded role and as a first-time starter in 2018, he collected a team high 10.5 sacks and 15.5 tackles-for-loss. A second-team All-Big Ten selection, Young entered the 2019 year as one of the premier pass rushers in the country. 

He has taken his game to the next level and then some. What speaks volumes to his development and fear factor is that he was circled as a premier piece to the Buckeyes defense and yet he still manages to make his presence felt week after week. Tying a program record sacks in a game, he's already up to 13.5 for the season. Sadly, he wasn't on the radar for the midseason Heisman Trophy ballot, but now, he should firmly be in contention atop the list.

Where He Wins (+)

When able to hit his spots, he attacks a half man to his liking. Young picks the inside or outside shoulder depending on where he has the most leverage and attacks it at full force. He shows well advanced and powerful hands, which allow him to close out and win reps after having already won with specific angles depending on the intended rush tracks. Young was often double teamed and the center of attention of schemed protections, but when he received one-on-one opportunities, he cashed in on them at all costs.

Highly educated on the nuances of hand-to-hand combat and just how he can win in this department. His hand violence and authority behind them have blossomed over his collegiate career. Loves to use a “hump” or "club and rip" move to overpower blockers after setting them up with an inside-out or outside-in stutter step to get them off-balance.

Young employs a versatile repertoire of moves that he uses at a sporadic rate that keeps blockers on their toes. A rare blend of power mixed with speed is like a stampede coming downhill at potential blockers.

He's shown to be capable of winning from a multitude of platforms and is not just an outside rusher. He has the versatility to slide down inside on late passing down situations and still experience high amounts of success. Young also has the athleticism to drop into coverage and proven to be reliable at doing so. It's not a foreign concept to him and he looks comfortable with occupying areas within 10 yards of the line of scrimmage.

Where He Must Improve (-)

Even though Young shows that he has success with attacking certain portions of blockers, there’s a sense of panic when unable to reach target areas. When unable to reach these body portions while rushing, he will relegate immediately to a bull rush, attacking straight down the chest of blockers. Having a limited success rate with this tactic, but he's become much better with keeping counter moves in his back pocket in order to use afterwards. 

His feet can become semi-heavy, but he shows to have a well above average first-step. When able to win the corner, he has the hips in order to dip, bend, and flatline to the quarterback. When not able to gain the upfield shoulder of offensive tackles, there are some struggles of being able to reset the corner prior to the engagement point.