Player Profile #92 – WR Titus Young

It was less than three years ago when Boise State head coach Chris Peterson said it would probably be better for his program if second-year WR Titus Young transferred out of the program.

Young was serving a suspension for breaking team rules that cost him nine games during the 2008 season. He was immature, undisciplined, and prone to penalties on the field and despite a wealth of physical ability; he was more bother than he was worth.

But Young did not transfer, instead he changes his ways and put together two productive seasons with the Broncos on their blue field in Boise. He’s ready now to enter the NFL with an attitude of confidence and support for the team.

This is a look at the Titus Young adventure.

FAMILY BUSINESS

Titus Young

Born: August 31, 1989 in Los Angeles.

Family: His parents are Richard and Teresa Young, both of whom are pastors. He’s the youngest of five children and the only boy in the family.

BODY OF WORK

  • Height – 5-feet, 11 ¼ inches.
  • Weight – 174 pounds.
  • Arm – 30 7/8 inches.
  • Hand – 9 inches.
  • 40-yard dash – 4.43 seconds.
  • 20-yard dash – 2.54 seconds.
  • 10-yard dash – 1.58 seconds.
  • Broad jump – 10-feet, 3 inches.

HIGH SCHOOL

Young was a ’07 graduate of University High School in Los Angeles. Located in West Los Angeles, the school has one of the most diverse student bodies in the city. University High has a long list of famous alumni, including actors like Judy Garland, James Brolin, Jeff Bridges and Ryan O’Neal.

He won three letters in football and two in track for the Wildcats. As a senior playing for E.C. Robinson, he was named all-Los Angeles and All-California and was listed as one of the top 10 receivers in California.

FOOTBALL

2007 – The Wildcats finished 7-5 as Young caught 66 passes for 1,359 yards, or 20.6 yards per catch with 10 TDs. He added a pair of TD runs. On defense, he had 97 tackles with 11 interceptions at free safety. He also averaged 21.8 yards on 18 punt returns and 33.9 yards on 11 kick returns. His big game was 11 catches for 221 yards against Venice High School. He also had 10 tackles and two INTS on defense in that game.

2006 – Young earned his first serious playing time at UHS, as the Wildcats went 9-3. He caught 23 passes for 443 yards and six TDs. He also picked up 39 tackles, 2 sacks and an interception playing cornerback.

2005 – In limited playing time, Young caught three passes for 77 yards, including a 50-yard TD.

RECRUITING

Although the school listed him at 6-2 as a senior, Young was shorter than six-feet tall and just 162 pounds coming out of University High. That scared away some of the bigger programs, including Southern Cal and UCLA. But there was a great deal of interest from Boise State, Washington State, Washington and Nevada; all offered scholarships. Arizona, Oregon and UCLA expressed interest in the final days. He committed to Boise.

COLLEGE

Young was a communications major at Boise State and he remains several semesters away from picking up enough credits to earn a degree.

He earned first-team All-WAC honors in 2009 as both a receiver and kick returner. In that season, he had two return TDs on kickoffs – one for 95 yards against Nevada and the other for 100 yards against Idaho.

His career with the Boise State Broncos was checkered with maturity problems, and he was suspended for nine games during his sophomore season.

2010 – Over 13 games, Young caught 71 passes for 1,215 yards and nine TDs. His most productive game was against Fresno State with eight catches for 164 yards and two TD catches. He averaged 23.5 yards on 24 kick returns.

2009 – Boise played 14 games in this season and Young was on the field for all of them, catching 79 passes for 1,041 yards and 10 TDs. He added three rushing TDs and two more scores on kickoff returns. His best game was against Hawaii with eight catches for 115 yards and three TDs.

2008 – He played in just three of 13 games, serving a one-game suspension and then a nine-game hiatus that ended his season in October. He caught 10 passes for 168 yards and a TD. Young also had two rushing TDs. Young was suspended by head coach Chris Peterson and barred from all team activity. “It’s just that we need time apart,” Petersen said, giving no indication at the time when or if he would reconsider Young’s status.

Young wanted to hide. “I really just wanted to go home for a while, sit on my couch, lock myself in a cage,” Young said. “That’s how I really felt at the time. If I would have ran, I would have been running from my problems. I’ve never been a type to run from a problem. You’ve always got to hit it in the mouth and stay strong and endure and have faith.”

2007 – As a freshman, he caught at least one pass in all 13 Boise State games, finishing with 44 catches for 639 yards and five TDs. He was suspended for the first quarter of the Hawaii Bowl for disciplinary reasons.

Year

G

S

Rec.

Yds.

TDs

 

Att.

Yds.

TD

2010

13

11

71

1,215

9

 

14

94

1

2009

14

8

79

1,041

10

 

15

138

3

2008

3

0

10

168

1

 

5

52

2

2007

13

0

44

639

5

 

13

66

2

Total

43

19

204

3,063

25

 

47

350

8

Per G.

x

X

4.7

71.2

.58

 

.92

8.1

.19

Kickoff returns – 56 for 1,449 yards and 2 TDs; Punt returns – 11 for 76 yards.

EVALUATION FOR PRO FOOTBALL

Strengths – Young is built for running out of the slot, thanks to his speed, quickness and moves. He’s explosive not only coming off the line, but on the second level when he can create separation. His agility allows him to avoid a lot of press coverage as he shakes and bakes and gets off the defender very quickly. He will stretch the defense, both deep and laterally. On deep balls, he has shown the ability to make adjustments on deep passes while running full speed. Young has experience as both a punt and kickoff returner. Some view him as a poor man’s DeSean Jackson.

Weaknesses – He’s been his own worst enemy with poor judgment on the field and what has been a questionable work ethic. He loses focus at times, dropping easy completions. His route running is inconsistent and he’ll drop balls that he should catch. Because of his size and lack of bulk, he’s not going to out-muscle anyone for a jump ball. A willing blocker, he struggles in making contributions down field. He’s had fumbling problems at times.

Analysis – There’s a lot that Young can bring to an NFL offense and special teams. Some use the comparison of DeSean Jackson, and there’s no doubt they are the same size with the same type of speed and lateral quickness. Like Jackson, Young has discipline problems, sometimes taking silly penalties on the field for his behavior. There’s no doubt Young is a confident and talkative young man.

WHAT THE SCOUTS SAY

From one NFC scout – “There are questions about his maturity and his size. He’s not going to crack 180 pounds and maintain that speed and there’s real doubt of him holding up under a standard NFL pounding. We aren’t sure about his worth ethic as well. No doubt he has the speed and quickness to make contributions in the slot.”

WHAT HE HAS TO SAY

On his 10-game suspension in 2008 – “Adversity really shows who you are as a person. In my time off, those 10 games that I missed, it showed me the morals of life like respect and just being grateful for the situations you’re in because you can lose those situations very easily. That’s been the biggest thing I’ve learned.”

On what he learned from his time working with the Boise State coaching staff – “Respect All and Fear None” (was the motto); and I feel that it was the preparation that we put in. As players, I think we ran a lot of plays that the pros run, and things like that. It’s a great offense, and I’m very happy to be a part of it. ”

On what he will bring to the NFL team that drafts him – “A guy who will be ready to come in and play his position, and play his role on the team. Whether that’s carrying someone’s shoulder pads or moving the chains on offense. I’m a good guy to have around the locker room; just someone who will do his job and lead by example. I want to follow the leaders for a couple of years, just find that wide receiver who’s been doing it a while and show me how things are done wherever I’m at. I definitely think the GM who drafts me will have a big smile on his face.”

WHAT OTHERS HAVE TO SAY

Boise State head coach Chris Peterson – “It hasn’t been easy for him and it hasn’t been easy for us. But he got it figured out and I think a lot of times the hard things you go through can make you improve and grow more than anything. His situation is one of those.”

Boise State quarterback Kellen Moore – “The Titus that came into the program and the Titus that’s leaving, they’re very different people.”

DOES HE FIT WITH THE CHIEFS

For a team that needs improvement at the wide receiver position and as much speed to the roster as possible, then Titus Young would be a fit for the Chiefs. There are aspects about his maturity and college career that do not fit with the template that Pioli/Haley have established for their “right 53″. The question the Chiefs would have to answer is whether they think Young would take to the tough-love on the pro level. He responded at Boise State when he was suspended for most of the 2008 season. If yes, it will be a tight fit.

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