Michael Young isn't big on voicing team objectives.
Mostly, he doesn’t think it should be necessary. Young grew up with the winning tradition at Destrehan High School, winner of Louisiana state championships in 2007 and 2008. He’s been part of the program during deep playoff runs the past three seasons.
Destrehan is a yearly power in the state’s 5A classification. State championships are the singular team goal. Young isn’t the type to talk about much else.
“It’s obvious,” said Young, who committed to Notre Dame last month. “We all know what we want. We don’t play every year to win district championships. We don’t play for that. We don’t play to go undefeated. We play to win a state championship. The last three years, we came mighty close but we came up short every time. I think this year it’s a little bit of a different hunger.”
Over the last three seasons, Destrehan has indeed failed at coming up with championship hardware.
Last season the Wildcats went 11-1 with their only defeat coming in a quarterfinal upset. They lost in the state title game in 2014 and bowed out in the semifinals the season before that. Translation? They’ve come close but Young can’t yet call himself a state champion.
Young, a three-star receiver, relishes another shot at changing that fact as a senior. But it won’t come without a learning curve: Destrehan has to replace most of last season’s defense.
“We have a little bit different swagger to us,” Young said. “As a leader, you’ve gotta boost up the confidence of some of those guys that haven’t played or the younger guys. That’s what I think helps us. Everybody knows what we want. They all know what we’re striving for. I feel like we have more of a chip on our shoulder, definitely. With the nine starters on defense leaving, everybody thinks we’re gonna be down this year. I don’t think that’s the case.”
Winning is about the only goal Young has set. He went for more than 600 yards last season and would like to increase that number, although doing so is secondary. That’s something he’s learned since breaking into the Destrehan starting lineup.
“Honestly, the only thing I’ve thought about is I’ve wanted to be a 1,000-yard receiver in a season,” said Young. “But looking back on it, it’s not needed. When you think about it, it’s really not needed. I don’t have personal goals. My only goal is for the team to go to the state championship and win. That’s my only goal. Football is a team thing.”
Once the season starts, Young will be keeping tabs on his future team as well.
Young hopes to make it back to Notre Dame for at least one game during the fall but has yet to schedule any return visits. Over the last month, however, Young has been able to settle in as a committed prospect. He chose Notre Dame over Texas A&M and Oregon.
Since making that move, Young has enjoyed a smaller spotlight. Well, most of the time.
“Sometimes teachers and other people are like, ‘Yeah, he’s committed to Notre Dame,’” Young said. “I’m like, ‘Why? Why do you have to say that?’ Certain people when they bring it up they’re like, ‘You’re the guy.’ I’m just not a big hype guy. But things have slowed down. They’ve definitely slowed down. It’s pretty cool.”