A late start with your new football team is anything but desirable (due to academic reasons), but Chris Young was not one to let his circumstances hinder him and was able to learn from the experience.
“The transition was hard,” Young commented about the transfer. “I had to make sure I prepared myself, worked out, and focus on my school work. It taught me a lot of responsibility.
“I have high expectations for myself. I come out here and work hard and at the end of the day if that changes I will still work hard every day.”
When he arrived in Tempe, Young was greeted by Darwin Rogers and Steffon Martin, his former teammates from Arizona Western College who were also part of the 2012 recruiting class. Those familiar faces certainly helped Young ease into his new environment.
“Having them [Rogers, Martin] here made it a lot easier to get to know people,” Young explained. “Knowing that I am not out here by myself was good to have.”
And then Young had to deal with the transformation on the field.
Though many newcomers may find themselves dramatically changing their style of play on their team Young is discovering it quite easy to fit into the defensive scheme that Defensive Coordinator Paul Randolph is installing.
“[The defense] is very similar to what I was doing before at Arizona Western,” Young noted. “There were a lot of familiar things so it was not that hard to get used to the plays. It feels pretty good.”
Young arrived in time to make the venture up to historical Camp Tontozona with the rest of the Sun Devil football team. It was another new challenge he had to deal with, but one which was described by him as both fascinating and educational.
“It was an interesting experience being at my first D-1 camp.” Young admitted. “I was able to improve on a lot of things. The biggest thing was conditioning and working out with the team.”
Throughout their time at Camp Tontozona, the ASU defense showed signs of struggle. Yet, those are struggles that Young believes the team is still ironing out as new and old teammates go through the acclimation process.
“We were still getting a feel for each other and learning how we all play.” Young explained. “Once we know exactly how that is, the defense will go perfectly together.”
As he battles junior Anthony Jones for first-team SPUR linebacker duties, Young sees this jockeying for position as a process that can adequately prepare both players for the rigorous season that lies ahead. The ultimate pecking order is insignificant according to Young.
“I don’t look at it as competition, I view it more as team effort.” Young described. “If I start or not, we both are going to be ready. If he [Jones] gets tired, I have to be ready to step in or vice versa. Either way works out fine.”
Young is still looking to go beyond what he has already accomplished through fall camp. He knows there is always room for improvement, and was quick to set the bar even higher for himself this season.
“I want to succeed and improve on everything that I have come this far to do,” Young said. “I want to be an all-star.”