Young Makes Transition from All-American DT to OL

BYU's only confirmed starter on its offensive line this fall is a former junior college All-American defensive tackle who has never played a single game snap in the position. It's a Herculean task for the strongest man on the team, but he's up for the challenge.

Senior offensive tackle Scott Young said yesterday, "I know I've yet to play a down as an offensive lineman, but I've had a ton of practice and I have played at the college level (defensive line). I'm just thankful the coaches have enough confidence in me to have me as a starter on the offensive line."

Cougar head coach Gary Crowton had this observation of him: "Scott Young is a very aggressive and a very hard-working young man. He's very aggressive, which we like, but he's also very athletic for a guy his size – which will help a lot this year. He's definitely a leader among the offensive linemen."

The 6-5, 312-pound Young signed with BYU from Dixie State College with JC All-American recognition and status, sharing time for one year on defense under former defensive coordinator Ken Schmidt.

So why the change? "I just like to be on the field as much as possible and I really don't like to share time. I'm a little selfish that way, but I felt I could see more time as an offensive lineman and the coaches felt the move was a good one."

Young redshirted last season to completely relearn a new position at the Div. 1 level and he does not have any regrets. "I'm very happy as an offensive lineman. I feel I can help the team out best at this position playing every down. The transition wasn't very easy. I had to learn to not be as aggressive as I was on every down as a defensive lineman. In pass blocking, you need a little more finesse and a lot of good technique, which I've tried very hard to learn. Run-blocking wasn't much of a problem. You just go all out and hit someone mainly. It's the pass blocking that is the most difficult to adjust to and learn," he said.

The decision to redshirt was made just days before the first game last season. "It was so tough watching the team struggle last year like they did," Young admitted. "I knew I could help, but redshirting probably was the best option. I just can't wait to get back. I'm sick of waiting. I learned patience during last season, but I really don't want to be patient for much longer. I want to get out there and start hitting people for real."

Young credits new offensive line coach Jeff Grimes for much of his newfound success. "Coach Grimes is going to help us a lot. He already has and people will see that this coming year. We're going to be really good as an offensive line and as an offense as a whole."

When asked what Grimes has specifically done to help the offensive line unit, Young noted, "Grimes just preaches an aggressive type of attitude. He wants us to be the toughest bunch of offensive linemen in the country. He wants us to be real aggressive and I love that."

Though he is widely acknowledge as the strongest player in the weight room with a bench press of 540 pounds, Young humbly counters, "I don't know if I'm the strongest, but I try to be. I take some pride in weight-lifting and all that. Of course, if it doesn't translate on to the field, then it doesn't mean much, but I'm sure my strength will help me out a lot."

Young, with no prior offensive line experience, is the only senior expected to start in the first game against Notre Dame. He recognizes the youth and relative inexperience of his fellow offensive linemen, but defended his group, "We're very young and inexperienced for the most part, but I wouldn't trade the top seven or eight guys on the offensive line for anything in the world. I love the guys I'm playing with and they all help me to be a better player. We have only Jake (Kuresa) and Eddie (Keele) who have a lot of playing experience, along with Ofa (Mohetau), but I know we can be a great unit despite that."

Young summed up his prevailing thoughts and feelings: "We're going to surprise people. Not just our offensive line, but the offense as a whole. We're so much more together than we have been in the past. We work extremely well together and I feel we're on the same page. I just can't wait to get out there and hit people again and show them how good we are."

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