Restless Young

Temple football coach Matt Rhule needed players to step up in the secondary heading into the 2014 season. The recruiting effort would indicate many of those players could be coming into the program this year, but there are internal candidates to step into larger roles. Tavon Young could be one of them.

Temple football coach Matt Rhule needed players to step up in the secondary heading into the 2014 season.

The recruiting effort would indicate many of those players could be coming into the program this year, but there are some internal candidates to step into larger roles.

Tavon Young could be one of those players as he has been one of the most improved Owls this spring.

"I wouldn't have had that in my plans (before the spring) that he was going to have a big year, but he's bought into everything," said Temple coach Matt Rhule. "He's put on 8-10 pounds, that makes you more competitive. He's bought into the technique. He's knocking balls down, he's really elevated his stock. Tavon has been a tremendous surprise for us how quickly he bought in and shows up on field."

A junior, Young had his moments last season. He played in every game, starting six and led the team in passes defensed (6) and broken up (5). His interception in Week 7 against Army was the first of the year for the Owls and his 51 tackles were fourth on the team.

Still, Young is expecting great progress this season after a year under defensive coordinator Phil Snow.

"It does take time," said Young. "It's a very detailed defensive technique. (As a secondary) we've made way more plays than last spring, we have more chemistry. We're more playmakers. We're around the ball a lot more."

Young agreed buying into the defensive philosophy, as Rhule noted, was a big key in his development.

"It started in offseason doing extra work, me and the guys on Saturday, we worked on our technique, learned to trust coaches more and knew what I needed to do to get better," said Young. "Me when I came in here as a freshman, I thought I knew anything like any other young guy, until I found out my way didn't work."

A 2-10 season in which the secondary struggled greatly was the only motivation the players needed to change their ways. For the team in general and Young in particular, it was an eye-opener.

"It was a very good learning experience," said Young. "Houston ran 106 plays against us and threw 70. Instead of getting four balls a game, we were getting 8, 9, 10. We were in good position to win a lot of games and just didn't finish. That's been our main focus this offseason. We can compete with anybody in our eyes."

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