Wednesday, November 21, 2012
One who got away: S Chris Young
By Mason Kelley
When Steve Sarkisian went to work trying to assemble his first full recruiting class, he made it a point to make his mark in Washington.
Originally a UW commit, Chris Young failed to qualify academically and went to junior college before ending up at Arizona State.
The Huskies coach landed three of the four prospects rated blue chips by The Seattle Times: offensive lineman Colin Porter, defensive lineman Sione Potoa’e and safety Chris Young.
At the time, it looked like the only top talent who was going to leave the state was quarterback Jake Heaps, who signed with BYU.
However, Young did not qualify academically. He ended up at Arizona Western, where he continued to be a highly recruited prospect.
He finished his sophomore season at the junior college in Yuma, Ariz., with a total of 111 tackles -- 30 for loss.
By the time he finished his two-year career there, his plans had changed. Instead of returning home to play for the Huskies, he ended up at Arizona State, where he has become a productive player for the Sun Devils.
Through 10 games this season, Young has piled up 64 tackles -- 13 1/2 for loss -- two sacks, an interception and a forced fumble.
While Young has developed into a standout in Arizona State’s defensive backfield, safety has proven to be a position of strength for Washington, mitigating the loss of a hometown standout.
Sean Parker, Justin Glenn and freshman nickelback Shaq Thompson are having solid seasons. In fact, the Huskies have so much depth at the safety position they were able to play Thompson as a hybrid linebacker-safety, while moving Travis Feeney to linebacker where the redshirt freshman has blossomed.
Young was a prospect Washington wanted, but the program found the recruits to fill the role he would have grown into.
The Huskies do not have a safety prospect committed to their 2013 class -- Connor O'Brien plays safety for Rancho Santa Margarita (Calif.) Santa Margarita, but projects at outside linebacker for college -- but they continue to pursue that position, working to ensure the future remains as solid as the present.