Bears place four players on award that has expanded criteria.
Junior among players chosen for recognition as one of nation’s top linebackers.
Junior LB listed among players up for College Defensive Player of the Year honor.
Check out the photo gallery from the No. 5 Baylor football game against Texas Tech.
No. 4 Football vs. No. 7 Michigan State (USA Today)
BEDNARIK AWARD CANDIDATE
BUTKUS AWARD CANDIDATE
Fourth-year junior… Returning All-Big 12 linebacker, listed as starter at one linebacker spot in 3-4 formation on preseason depth chart… Powerful, compact, leader with 20 starts and 25 games played entering 2016… 2014 Big 12 Defensive Newcomer of Year and Freshman All-America… 2012 prep All-American… Father (Rodney, Tulsa) and brothers (R.J., Arizona and ULM; Cyrus Gray, Texas A&M and K.C. Chiefs) played football.
2015 (Sophomore): Starting weakside linebacker in 12 of 13 games, missed one game due to injury… Named honorable mention All-Big 12 by league coaches… Averaged 1.12 tackles for loss, ranked tied for sixth in Big 12… 6.7 average tackles/game ranked 15th in Big 12… Totaled 80 tackles (60 solo, 13.5 for loss of 38 yards), four sacks (-19 yards), two QB hurries, one PBU and one fumble recovery on season… Missed second game due to shoulder injury suffered during season-opening win at SMU (two tackles)… Had sack (-8 yards) and four total tackles in win over Rice in third game… Made eight stops (seven solo, two for losses) in win vs. Texas Tech in fourth game… Had nine tackles (seven solo, two for loss including 2-yard sack) and hurry in win over West Virginia in sixth game… Made 10 tackles (seven solo) in win over Iowa State in seventh game… Had season-high 11 tackles (nine solo, 2.5 for loss of five yards) vs. No. 12 Oklahoma in ninth game… Had four-yard sack and four total tackles in win at No. 4 Oklahoma State in 10th game… Made 10 stops (one TFL) vs. Texas in 12th game… Had five-yard sack and four total tackles in win over No. 10 North Carolina in Russell Athletic Bowl win.
2014 (Redshirt Freshman): Played all 13 games with eight starts at WLB in breakout freshman season for 2014 Big 12 champions… Named Freshman All-America by FWAA, USA Today, Athlon, Phil Steele and Sports On Earth… Selected Big 12 Defensive Newcomer of Year by Associated Press and San Antonio Express-News and Big 12 Defensive Freshman of Year by Scout… Named 2015 Cotton Bowl Defensive MVP… Earned first collegiate letter… Ranked 18th in Big 12 with 7.0 tackles-per-game… Totaled 92 tackles (58 solo, 8.5 for loss of 45 yards), four sacks (-38 yards), three PBUs, two QB hurries, two forced fumbles and one interception on season… Played as backup through season’s first five games, started final eight games (averaged 8.9 tackles-per-game as starter)… Made collegiate debut in reserve role in season-opening win over SMU, made first career sack (eight yards) and forced fumble… Had nine tackles (five solo), including eight-yard sack, in win over Northwestern State in second game… Made seven stops in win at Buffalo in third game… Entered starting lineup for sixth game (in place of injured starter Aiavion Edwards) and never relinquished position, finished with nine tackles, hurry and PBU in first career start, epic 61-58 comeback win over No. 9 TCU in sixth game… Made 12 stops, including season-high two sacks (-22 yards) and three total TFL (-24 yards) at West Virginia in seventh game… Recorded seven tackles in wins over both No. 16 Oklahoma and Oklahoma State in ninth and 10th games… Finished season with 28 tackles over final two games… Led team with 13 tackles (eight solo, 1.5 for loss) in win over No. 9 Kansas State that clinched share of Big 12 championship and berth in New Year’s Six bowl… Had monster outing in Cotton Bowl vs. No. 7 Michigan State, led team with season-high 15 tackles, made career-first interception (returned 37 yards), QB hurry and PBU en route to being named defensive MVP.
2013 (True Freshman): Sat out first season at Baylor and participated on practice squad, redshirted to retain eligibility.
High School: All-American and all-state linebacker from DeSoto (Texas) High School… Three-year starter under head coach Claude Mathis at DHS… Named second-team 2012 MaxPreps All-America as senior… Selected as Texas 2012 Class 5A Defensive Player of Year following senior season… National position rankings: No. 80 by 247Sports.com, No. 88 Scout.com… Led DeSoto to 14-1 record and 5A state semis… Recorded 130 tackles, three sacks, four interceptions and three forced fumbles in memorable senior season… Named first-team 2012 5A All-State and 2012 District 7-5A Defensive MVP… Named first-team 2012 Dallas Area by Dallas Morning News/SportsDay… Led DHS to 10-2 finish and 2011 DI area finals as junior… Totaled 116 tackles and 3 sacks in 2011… Starter as sophomore on DeSoto’s 2010 squad that finished 11-3 and advanced to DI regional finals.
Personal: Son of Rodney Young and Covell Goree... Full name is Taylor Alexander Young... Born March 15, 1995, in Dallas... Brother, R.J., played football at Arizona and Louisiana-Monroe... Brother, Cyrus Gray, was drafted in sixth round of 2012 NFL Draft by Kansas City Chiefs after playing at Texas A&M... Father played football at Tulsa... Majoring in health, kinesiology and leisure studies.