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2022 NFL Prospect Interview: Jordan Young, LB, Old Dominion

Jordan Young Old Dominion 2022 NFL Draft
Jordan Young is a team leader and versatile linebacker for Old Dominion who’s expecting a breakout year in 2021. He recently sat down with NFL Draft Diamonds writer Jimmy Williams.
  • Name: Jordan Young
  • Height: 6’3”
  • Weight: 230 lbs.
  • Position: LB
  • College: Old Dominion University
  • Twitter: AJY_03
  • Instagram: ajy_3

Talk about your experience as a student. What is your major/minor? Did you participate in any other activities or campus organizations other than football?
My experience as a student has been unique. I’m now going into my 6th year as a student at Old Dominion after our team opted out of the 2020 season due to the pandemic. I was a good student in high school and after adjusting to college life, I was able to take care of business here as well. I finished my undergraduate degree in 3 and a half years in Sports Management, and I have one more class to take this fall before I get my Master’s Degree in Sports Management. My internships kept me within football, and I also spent time with the academic department. As part of our football team, I have participated in mentor programs with kids at local schools, and I’ve helped out within our community in other service projects.

What do your teammates say is your best quality?
My best qualities include my work ethic and demeanor. I try my best to always find ways to get better as well as impart my wisdom on some of the younger players on the team.

What kind of role do you see yourself in on the team? What scheme and/or position suits your skill set?
I see myself as a team leader. I’ve had that sense of accountability since becoming a starter towards the end of my redshirt freshman year. I was named team captain in 2020, and that role will continue this season.

I’m very flexible. I have played under 3 different defensive staffs where I have had to learn new terminology. I also see myself as an every down LB with the ability to play inside and outside. I can be the guy blitzing or rerouting receivers in our nickel and dime coverages. Additionally, I’m very good as a run defender. My athleticism is one of my best qualities although I’m a smart LB that puts myself in the best position to make plays.

As far as special teams, I’ve played in every unit except kick returns and field goals.  My coaches know that I’m prepared and willing to compete at any position on the field that they need me.

Who is the best player you have ever played against in college?
When Devin Singletary was playing at Florida Atlantic, we always had to know where he was. His quickness and ability to make guys miss made him a huge factor in the game.

Which one of your teammates impresses you the most?
Oshane Ximines is one of the best athletes to ever come out of our program. Oshane racked up several accolades and NFL attention that helped him become a 3rd round draft pick for the GIants. Watching him work, giving it his all and making a huge impact on the team really impressed me as a young player.

Travis Fulgham is another player that is in the NFL who impressed me. I watched him progress in his career and churn out a strong senior season that helped him get drafted.

Describe a time in your life when you were able to overcome a struggle.
My overall recruiting process was somewhat challenging. I had played QB in high school, and a lot of schools weren’t looking at me at that position. I had several offers, but very little defensive film. I knew that I was going to come into a program and have to switch positions. Linebacker seemed like a suitable fit. I ended up choosing Old Dominion because I had a good feel for the staff and the sports market. Additionally, I had some relatives that were close enough that could attend some of my games. I knew I had to broaden my horizons a bit coming from Coatesville, Pennsylvania. Norfolk, Virginia eventually felt like home.

Another obstacle that I’ve had to endure was our 2020 season being cancelled due to COVID-19. With all of the uncertainty surrounding the pandemic, our university thought it best to keep our safety a priority. Our only question was we didn’t know when we were going to have our next opportunity to play, and some players decided it was in their best interest to transfer. We ended up with only 3 remaining seniors and also having a brand new coaching staff. It’s been a challenging transition because for a long time we met through virtual meetings. In a way, it’s been a blessing to have the extra year in order to develop a relationship with this staff and get to know our expectations for this upcoming season.

I had opportunities to go elsewhere and finish out my last year of eligibility. Yet, I decided to finish what I started at Old Dominion both on the football field and with my academics. I’m looking forward to building this program for the better. 

If you didn’t play football, what other sport would you play?
Basketball. I’m a huge fan of the sport, and I end up playing a lot at our Rec Center. It’s continuous movement, and I have fun working on things like my hand-eye coordination. In addition to football and basketball, I also participated in baseball as well as being a thrower in track & field in high school.

What is something that you are most proud of? What would you say is your biggest achievement?
I’m most proud that me and my brothers were able to receive full scholarships in order for us to play football and get a free education. We are highly regarded in our hometown and look to set an example for those in our community.

Describe one of the most memorable plays of your collegiate career.
In my very first game, we were playing against Albany. In the 3rd quarter, they were running a standard drop-back pass, and I had a clear lane to the QB. As I rammed into him, I was able to jar the ball loose. As I lay on the field, I turned over and saw the ball, snatching it for the turnover.

Another moment that I’ll never forget was our upset win over Virginia Tech in 2018. I remember someone saying that we had a 1.8% chance to win. They were at our homefield, and I remember seeing a sea of orange and maroon as I walked onto the field. That game went back and forth. Our coach was able to encourage us to stick around in the game. I remember the final points scored as Jeremy Cox ran in for the touchdown breaking tackles. Half our sideline ran onto the field to celebrate. It was like something out of a movie. It was mayhem around our campus.

Do you have a favorite athlete or professional team? Is there a player that you model your game after?
My favorite professional team is the Milwaukee Bucks, and my favorite athlete is Giannis. Some of the players that I model my game after are Darius Leonard and Zach Cunnningham. Leonard stands out with his ability to move sideline to sideline and make plays. Cunningham’s frame is similar to mine. I like how he is able to fly around the field and dominate his competition.

Who is your favorite music artist? What gets you pumped before a game?
I’m a J.Cole fan. I like to listen to his song “Tale of 2 Citiez” before a game.

What is your favorite comfort food?
I like going to Chipotle and getting double chicken burritos.

Do you have a favorite movie, TV show or actor?
I’m a big fan of the Marvel movies, and I love how they’re all connected. One of the TV shows that I like is Modern Family. Denzel Washington is probably my favorite actor.

What do you do in your spare time? Do you have any hobbies? Any secret talents?
In my spare time, I like to play video games like NBA 2K. I used to play piano, violin and saxophone. I still like to play piano today and recently bought a new keyboard.

Why do you play football? Who or what motivates you the most?
Football has been part of my family. My father, Anthony Young, who played at Temple and was drafted by the Colts. My brothers, Avery and Aaron, are currently playing for Rutgers. My grandmother really enjoyed football which is how my father first began playing. She passed away recently, and my goal is to continue the legacy of our love for the game. So, I play in memory of my grandmother.

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