Bryant Young Feels At Home In San Jose

National letter-of-intent day does not arrive until Wednesday, February 3rd. But, as far as San Jose State head coach Mike MacIntyre is concerned, he's already landed his star recruit. That's the good news. The bad news is his star recruit will never play a single down for the Spartans. He will, however, be a major influence on many of the players that will suit up for the Blue and Gold.

New San Jose State head coach Mike MacIntyre's star recruit happens to be his new defensive line coach, former San Francisco 49er and future Hall Of Famer, Bryant Young. "I call him my star recruit" said MacIntyre recently, "because I had to recruit him a little bit to get him here. He wanted to be in this area, but there were a lot of other people that wanted him also." MacIntyre is thrilled with the prospect of having his players learn from not only a player of Young's caliber, but also someone of his character. "I feel that he brings, number one, an unbelievable personality and persona that these young men that he'll coach will say ‘this is what an NFL guy is like. This is what a real man is like'" said MacIntyre. "He has a lot of football knowledge. He'll let these young men grow as football players. I think he's the kind of guy that brings the whole package to the table, and young men look up to and say ‘I want to be Bryant Young', which is a great thing to aspire to be."

Young spent the past season as a graduate assistant on Charlie Weiss' staff at his alma mater, the University of Notre Dame. For Young, last season at Notre Dame was his first experience as a coach, (not counting his running a few camps for high school players). "I was putting the (coaching) shoes on, to see if they fit for me and my family" Young told Inside Sparta. "It certainly did. It was a great experience." Although coaching was something Young had thought about for awhile, it wasn't something he immediately jumped into. I was kind of fighting it for a little bit" said Young. "I had the opportunity to put my feet to it, and I'm not looking back."

Having spent 14 seasons playing for the San Francisco 49ers, Young was already very familiar the Bay Area. "All my kids were born here" said Young. "We love the Bay Area. The area has so much to offer." San Jose State, as it turns out, is a place Young had visited many times in the past. "My last couple of years in the (NFL), I used to come by here and workout. In the offseason I'd come over here and work out with the guys" said Young. "Little did I know at that time that I'd be here coaching. But, certainly being around in the community, knowing about San Jose State, having the opportunity to be around some of the players back then, I'm somewhat familiar with the program and know a couple of people that work here, it made it a little more easier, transition wise." One of those people that he knew that worked at San Jose State happened to be Athletic Director Tom Bowen, who had previously worked in the 49er organization. It was Bowen that Young approached, expressing his interest in speaking to MacIntyre about the possibility of coaching at San Jose State.

Since arriving at San Jose State in the past month, Young says he's spent most of his time on the recruiting circuit, talking to various prospects in the Bay Area, the San Joaquin Valley, and in the Los Angeles area. He has met with a handful of the returning San Jose State linemen. "I'm still getting familiar with the personnel, but the guys I've met, we've had a chance to break the ice" said Young.

Despite his coming to San Jose State from Notre Dame, one of the highest profile programs in the country, Young does not see much difference between the two programs in regards to the process for success. The biggest difference he sees is in recruiting. Notre Dame recruits on a national level, while San Jose State recruits 98% of their players from within California. Other than that, he doesn't see much difference. "It comes down to getting the right guys here, who are willing to sacrifice and do the right things, make the right choices, and that are serious about going to class and trying to help us win."


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Mike Morgan is a Senior Editor for Inside Sparta. You may contact Mike with any questions, comments, or tips at mike@insidesparta.com

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