Young enjoying a quick start to the season

On a defense that has already showcased several playmakers this year, one of the pleasant surprises of that group has been Junior College transfer Chris Young. Coming into fall camp as a safety, it took Chris Young some time to convert to the "spur" hybrid linebacker position with the Sun Devils. Now that he has settled in at the position the results are speaking for themselves.

In his first year at ASU, Chris Young has already posted a team leading 24 tackles in his first three games at Arizona State. Perhaps his most impressive stat has been his ability to make tackles in the backfield already amassing six tackles for loss, which also paces the ASU defense. If you ask the Arizona Western junior college transfer though, he will tell you that he expects these results from himself and the only stat he is concerned with is team victories.

"I expected my performance to be this high, coming from a similar defense I was used to these schemes," Young explained. "I have high expectations of myself and I expect to stand out. The ultimate goal is that our team pulls together during games and we come away with the win."

After such a tough 24-20 loss at Missouri, it would be easy for this Sun Devil team to feel down, if not doubt their own abilities. Young said the coaching staff made a point after the game to stress the positives that came from that defeat while at the same time giving them areas to improve upon for their upcoming contest with Utah.

"I think our coaches didn't want us to hang our head too low," Young noted. "They did tell us that we have a lot of things to improve upon. We had a lot of little mistakes that they made big plays off of. We just needed to go back to the drawing board and correct little things."

One of the players that has aided in the early success Young has enjoyed, has been fellow linebacker Steffon Martin, his former Arizona Western College teammate. Young stated that he and Martin have both leaned on each other during tough times both in fall camp and during the season.

"Steffon is like my brother on and off the field," Young said. "He understands me like nobody else. When I am down he is there to pick me up and when he is down I am there to pick him up. We have a great bond between us."

Young admitted that the plan ride back from Columbia was a somber journey, and one that naturally involved a lot of rehashing of missed plays. Nonetheless, the linebacker added that once he and his teammates arrived home that contest was put behind them as they shifted their focus to their Pac-12 opener versus the Utes.

The linebacker realizes that the Utah offense will be a handful and is a group that ASU will need to match in their physical effort.

"I think they present a lot of size," Young stated. "They have a lot of threats on offense. They play the game with passion. It's going to be a rough game and we are going to have to knock some heads off."

Though it's too early in the season for Saturday's game to be labeled as a must win for the Sun Devils, Young knows that it is important to start strong in PAC-12 play in order to build momentum. Furthermore, a win would also send a strong message to the other teams in the Pac-12 South.

"It's PAC-12 football, this has to be our turning point," Young said. "This is a game that we need to make a statement that ASU is no joke. A lot of people may overlook us, but we aren't worried about that. We are just concerned with playing to the best of our abilities. We just need to keep playing hard and tough for each other."

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