The countdown to kickoff is on. Over the 100 days before Texas takes on Maryland, we’re counting down the 100 best players the Longhorns will face in 2017. This series is all about impressing your friends at pregame tailgates and watch parties, so grab a notepad and buckle up.
Who is he?
On the field, Taylor Young has established himself as one of Baylor’s most consistent defensive players and an emotional leader. Off of it, you may remember him as the player who fiercely defended former Bears coach Art Briles in a Twitter rant, saying he didn’t think he could play for the team without Briles. Young ended up playing in 2016, racking up 93 total tackles, 9.0 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks. According to the analysts at Pro Football Focus, he is the Big 12’s leading returner in “defensive stops,” which are defined as tackles that result in a “win” for the defense.
Baylor's Taylor Young leads all returning Big 12 edge defenders in terms of defensive stops, by 10 over the next closest defender. pic.twitter.com/YhlueATNmUAdvertisement
— PFF College (@PFF_College) June 29, 2017
What should the Longhorns watch for?
What Young lacks in size (5-foot-9, 225 pounds) he makes up for with instincts and work rate. Simply put, he’s a tackling machine. The DeSoto product has 265 tackles in his career, and his 93 last season came despite missing three games due to injury. He had three games with at least 15 tackles. Getting one block on Young isn’t always enough.
Young had seven total tackles against the Longhorns in 2016, including a sack due to an intentional grounding penalty on Shane Buechele. He had 10 stops in the 2015 season finale, and three when he faced Texas as a freshman in 2014.
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