The two current U of L defensive ends get an assist in the recruitment of Young, who committed to Louisville on Monday night.
"It just felt like the right place for me," Young told Cardinal Authority. "I really liked the environment. I felt comfortable with the coaches and with the players.
"(Smith and Mauldin) were really cool guys. They were telling me what coach (Clint) Hurtt could do for my game. I just felt like it was the best decision for me."
The 6-foot-4, 225-pound Young had 45 tackles in his one season at Iowa Western, including 13.5 sacks and 20 tackles for a loss.
Young picked U of L over Mississippi, Iowa and Iowa State. He had been committed to Western Michigan until recently when his phone started blowing up with major college offers.
"The last month has been crazy," he said. "A lot of coaches have been calling to talk, so I'm glad it's over. It was fun for me."
Young said he's watched film of Smith and Mauldin and the rest of the U of L defensive ends and "can't wait" to get started with the team.
"I like the way they use their D-ends," he said. "They put them in a lot of positions to make plays. They like to highlight their players that have talent and the coach staff is great. The coaching staff is headed in the right direction. (Mauldin and Smith) talked about how coach Hurtt made them better and I think he can make me a lot better as a player."
Young is the 24th commitment in the Class of 2014 for the Cardinals. He's the third defensive end, joining Clayton, Ohio, standout Terry Ramsey and Fort Pierce, Fla., star Rashawn Shaw.
Young will have three years of eligibility at U of L. Young said he will sign on Wednesday and enroll at U of L on Jan. 6.