No. 4 Football vs. No. 7 Michigan State (USA Today)
No. 5 Football vs. No. 9 Kansas State; photos by Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Third-year sophomore linebacker, 2014 Big 12 Defensive Newcomer of Year and Freshman All-America… Powerful, compact linebacker named 2015 Cotton Bowl Defensive MVP… Praised by coaching staff for performance in spring… Projected 2015 preseason All-Big 12 by ESPN (first team), Athlon, Lindy’s and Phil Steele (second team)... 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.
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, Texas... 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.