A few years before both Terry McLaurin and Chase Young were among the most important players on the Washington Football Team's roster, the two shared a locker room in Columbus, Ohio, as members of the Ohio State Buckeyes.
McLaurin, who's a few years older than Young, was asked on Monday if he remembered the first time he met the pass rusher when he arrived at Ohio State. Washington's standout receiver had the perfect response.
"When he first came to Ohio State, he didn't look like a freshman walking in for the first camp," McLaurin said. "They obviously knew he was a top player."
Although Young was a five-star recruit and considered one of the best edge rushers in the 2017 high school class, the Upper Marlboro, Md., native had to wait his turn with the Buckeyes. Young didn't start as a true freshman, as those two spots belonged to a pair of current NFL players as well: San Francisco's Nick Bosa and Cincinnati's Sam Hubbard.
Young didn't pout or hang his head that he wasn't an immediate starter, according to McLaurin. Instead, he used that year as a way to learn from the guys ahead of him, something McLaurin thinks benefitted him to this day.
"He came in really humble though, kind of the same way he came in here," McLaurin said. "Just looking to learn from the guys that are ahead of him, and then just try to earn their respect. And the way you do that is you play hard and you are where you need to be, and you start to gain that trust. So, I don't think he ever really came in with an entitled mentality with the physical traits that he has."
Young was named a starter as a sophomore and morphed into one of the better edge rushers in the Big Ten. By the time his junior year rolled around, Young was considered the consensus best defensive player in college football. He backed that up on the field and even earned some votes for the Heisman Trophy.
That didn't happen just naturally, though. Young put in the work needed to become the most feared defensive player in college football. Even though he was a top draft pick one year later, Young has brought that same mentality to the professional level.
"You see what you see on Sundays and what you saw in college," McLaurin said. "And he's somebody who's never really complacent. He's always looking to try to get better. And I feel like that's why you see so much growth in his game year after year.”
As a rookie in 2020, Young burst onto the scene with Washington. By season's end, he was the runaway Defensive Rookie of the Year. In fact, he was even named the NFL's Defensive Player of the Month for December.
With Young's superb play comes the territory, though. And after an exceptional rookie campaign, the 22-year-old spent the offseason taking advantage of several sponsorship opportunities. Young filmed commercials with Mercedes, eBay and even had the chance to go on Family Feud.
Despite these off-the-field obligations, Young has made sure to get his training in. He's kept football his main priority through it all, something McLaurin really admires about Washington's young star.
"He keeps the main thing, the main thing," McLaurin said. "I think he does a good job of realizing that nothing, all the extracurricular doesn't happen if he's not handling his business on the football field and he's been like that since college. So, he just has a really mature and professional-like approach to the game and he likes to have fun doing it."