Coach's Corner: Buddy Pough on Oliver Young

South Carolina State coach Buddy Pough goes one-on-one with PantherInsider.com to offer up his insider's perspective on WR Oliver Young. Why does Young have the ability to become a "really special" player? And what must he do to fulfill that potential? Pough provides the answers.

Oliver Young (6-foot-1, 180 pounds) finished his career at South Carolina State as the school's all-time leader in receiving yards (2,024). He capped off his stellar career with a strong senior season in which he caught 65 balls for 995 yards and nine TDs. He signed with the Carolina Panthers as an undrafted free agent and will compete for a spot in the team's youth-driven receiving corps.

LaShana Marshburn: Can you comment on Oliver's explosiveness?

Buddy Pough: Oliver has been one of our more exciting players. He's always been a guy that we've thought had a chance to be a next-level guy. He was a fun guy to see play and a joy to coach.

LM: How much will his versatility improve his chances of sticking in Carolina?

BP: I think he's a multi-tooled guy. He's done a lot of punt and kick [coverage] and he's returned them, as well. He's a skilled guy and he's done a lot of different things; he even played quarterback in high school.

  LM: Oliver decided to stay nearby by signing with Carolina; how much will that benefit him?

BP: I thought it was good move for him. I think he's a young man who would do better in one of the warmer climates. I think it's good for him to be closer to home where he can deal with issues that he would need to deal with from time to time.

  LM: Is there any one play that stands out to you from his time at SCSU?

BP: He's made so many big plays for us, they're all bunched together. I couldn't pick just one play.

  LM: Can you give us some insight into his off-the-field demeanor?

BP: He's an easy-going, happy-go-lucky kind of guy. He is from Charleston, which is close to here. He has family and people who will try to guide him in a good, proper way and he listens, so he's a good guy.

  LM: Where must he improve in order to make an NFL roster?

BP: He's such an athletic guy, he sometimes will depend on just that ability alone as opposed to paying attention to his details. If he matures to the point where he's comfortable playing in the NFL, I thinks he's got a chance of being really special.

  LM: How do you see that maturation process playing out as he adjusts to life as a professional football player?

BP: Well, you never know. That's always a concern. Professional football is more of a job; it has an 8-to-5 kind of feel. It's almost like getting up and going to any other job, when [for college players] football has always been something that was secondary in their lives. There's always a concern where he may not quite get "it," but I think he has the ability to get in there and get the job done.

  LM: Do you think the fact that's he's the all-time receiving leader in SCSU history helped him get onto the Panthers' radar?

BP: You know, that is always going to be one of the factors, the statistical information that people gather. That's what they sometimes use in the evaluation process. I think they also look at his size, strenghth and athletic ability. I think it's a combination of things along with stats. When you look at him play, you think this is a guy who might have a shot at being good.


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