Chase Young had to talk to a lot of people and conduct a lot of interviews on Thursday night. When you're the second overall pick in the NFL Draft, you're going to be a popular guy.
Not long after he finally became a Redskin, though, Young made sure to call up Larry Johnson, his now former defensive line coach at Ohio State. According to Johnson, the prized player was already desperate to return to football and get all of the pesky festivities out of the way.
"We talked," Johnson told NBC Sports Washington, "and the first thing he said is, 'Coach, we've got to get back in the lab.'"
"It's just the kind of player he is," the revered assistant added. "He's ready to go to work. It's his dream. He's not going to mess this up."
That's just one example of the mentality that Young possesses and the mindset Johnson saw during their time together in Columbus. In fact, Johnson picked up on it before Young even became a Buckeye.
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"I remember our first meeting with him, he said to me, 'Coach, I want to be the best to ever play at Ohio State University,'" Johnson recalled. "What a great vision for a kid to have at 15, 16 years old. But he didn't talk about it; he went and did it. He worked extremely hard."
Just in case Burgundy and Gold fans hadn't maxed out their enthusiasm for the franchise's newest addition yet, those two stories should help take care of that.
Of course, considering he's someone who's lived on the sidelines, Johnson also took the time to explain what the 21-year-old must do to ensure all of this hype gives way to immense production. Per Johnson, the edge threat must keep developing his power rush in order to give him a "changeup" off of his go-to speed and finesse moves — and because "sometimes, you've got to go through a guy."
Fortunately, Young is entering a situation where he'll be surrounded by other contributors who should allow him to grow into the difference-maker he wants to be. Johnson himself is envious of how the Burgundy and Gold will use Young alongside the likes of Montez Sweat, Ryan Kerrigan, Jonathan Allen, Daron Payne and Matt Ioannidis, and he believes that collection of talent will give Young a real chance to deliver.
"I think they have all the components to really be successful in that front four," Johnson said. "And I think that's what it takes: four guys to turn one guy into a great player."
For Young to end up being the star so many expect him to be, he'll have to rack up sacks. Yet, while most will immediately want to focus on the number of times Young is able to bring the QB to the ground, Johnson will actually be directing his attention to a related, but different, area.
"People talk about his sacks, his 16.5 sacks that he had," Johnson said. "But you go back to the pressure that he had. There was more pressure than sacks. And that's, to me, an indication of a really good defensive lineman."
Ron Rivera and the Redskins clearly agree with that last sentence, and now, the wait begins to see him bring those capabilities to Sundays instead of Saturdays. It should be very worth it.
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