[This is the 14th installment in our annual series where The-Ozone looks back on each member of the previous season’s freshman class and the impact they had as rookies, as well as the impact they could have during the upcoming season. Up next is linebacker Craig Young.]
Craig Young came to Ohio State from Wayne High School in Fort Wayne, Indiana where he was the No. 34 athlete in the 2019 class and the No. 609 player overall.
At 6-foot-4 and 200 pounds, it wasn’t exactly known where Young would end up in college, though it was expected to be somewhere on defense. He played on both sides of the ball in high school, and as a receiver hauled in 35 passes for 700 yards his senior season.
As a junior, he was a sectional champ in the 100m (10.7) and 200m (22.43).
Young signed with Ohio State over offers from Michigan State, Wisconsin, Iowa, Indiana, Toledo, and others.
Being a man without a position, Craig Young seemed like a prime candidate to redshirt as a true freshman. Instead, he played in 10 games, with most of that coming via special teams. He finished the season with five tackles and a much better appreciation for what this job entails.
While he was working with the special teams, he also had a role as a safety on the scout team.
“Coach [Kevin] Wilson, he runs the scout team and he shows us tough love,” Young said. “He recruited me. He enjoys us every day. Playing on the scout team is one of the best things I’ve ever done in football because I’m learning and I’m playing against a guy who is probably going to the NFL in the next couple of years. It’s the best thing I’ve ever done at Ohio State.”
Now What For Craig Young
Young will be one of around 11 scholarship linebackers on the Ohio State football roster this season. Most of them have more experience than he does, which means defensive snaps may be hard to find. However, he may also be one of just two or three guys on the roster capable of doing what this staff wants their Sams/Bullets to be able to do.
Remember, Young was a receiver in high school and a safety for the scout team last year. He’s a unique athlete, which is exactly what the Sams need to be at Ohio State. And according to OSU linebackers coach Al Washington, Young is just getting started.
“Craig is a piece of clay and he’s starting to find his shape,” Washington said. “He’s another guy physically who is putting on so much weight and he’s going to be a big kid.”
Young, who is still listed at 6-foot-4 and 200 pounds, clearly has some filling out to do before he can be an every-down linebacker. Washington is excited about the prospects, however, and Young is happy to be molded into whatever helps the Buckeyes get the job done.
“It’s a learning experience. A very humbling experience,” Young said. “But I enjoy it. I embrace it every day. It’s a choice. Coach Washington is always telling us that it’s a choice. Either you make it or you don’t, and me, I’m a choice man, so I’m going to make that choice and get better.”