Willie Young (defensive end)

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Willie Young
refer to caption
Young with the Chicago Bears in 2015
No. 97 Chicago Bears
Position: Outside linebacker
Personal information
Date of birth: (1985-09-19) September 19, 1985 (age 31)
Place of birth: Riviera Beach, Florida
Height: 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Weight: 258 lb (117 kg)
Career information
High school: Palm Beach Gardens (FL)
College: North Carolina State
NFL Draft: 2010 / Round: 7 / Pick: 213
Career history
Roster status: Active
Career highlights and awards
  • Second-team All-ACC (2009)
Career NFL statistics as of Week 7, 2016
Total tackles: 162
Sacks: 28.5
Forced fumbles: 2
Fumble recoveries: 2
Interceptions: 1
Player stats at NFL.com

Willie Young (born September 19, 1985) is an American football outside linebacker for the Chicago Bears of the National Football League (NFL). He was drafted by the Detroit Lions in the seventh round of the 2010 NFL Draft. He played college football at NC State.

Early life[edit]

Young was born on September 19, 1985 in Riviera Beach, Florida. He attended Palm Beach Gardens Community High School, where he played basketball and football as a defensive lineman and ran track. As a junior in 2003, he recorded 60 tackles including 15 for loss and nine quarterback sacks. As a senior, he recorded 65 tackles including 25 for loss and 12 sacks.[1] Scout.com rated him a three-star college prospect, and he accepted a scholarship offer from NC State. Young has a younger brother named Avery Young who plays offensive lineman for the Auburn Tigers.[2]

College career[edit]

Young attended North Carolina State University, from which he received a bachelor's degree in science and technology. He sat out the 2005 season on redshirt status. In 2006, he played in all 12 games including five starts and recorded 44 tackles including 24 solo and five for loss, one pass broken up, five quarterback hurries, and one interception returned 34 yards for a touchdown.[3] In 2007, he saw action in all 12 games including eight starts. He recorded 16 tackles for loss, 24 quarterback hurries, and broke up six passes.[1] In 2008, he started 12 games and recorded 12.5 tackles for loss, 6.5 sacks, and 26 quarterback hurries.[1] The NFL Draft Scout rated Young the 18th-ranked defensive end of the 182 available for the 2010 NFL Draft and projected him as a fifth or six round selection.[4]

Professional career[edit]

2010 NFL Draft[edit]

Young was selected by the Detroit Lions as the 213th overall pick in the 2010 NFL Draft.

Detroit Lions[edit]

He spent his rookie season inactive for all but 2 games. He played 14 games in the 2011 season.

[5] In 2013, Young gained media attention after taunting the New England Patriot's quarterback, Tom Brady. In the second quarter of a pre-season game, Young helped force Brady to throw an incomplete pass. After the play, Young grabbed Brady's jersey and stuck his finger in the quarterback's face. As a result, a 15 yard penalty was thrown. In addition, Young was also benched after the play.

Chicago Bears[edit]

On March 13, 2014, Young signed a three-year, $9 million contract with the Chicago Bears to be a backup behind Lamarr Houston and Jared Allen.[6] In Week 1 against the Buffalo Bills, Young notched his first sack of his Bears season in the Bears 20-23 overtime loss. In Week 2 against the San Francisco 49ers, Young notched 2 more sacks on Colin Kaepernick. In Week 3, he continued to rush the quarterback with success against the New York Jets, sacking Geno Smith once in the Bears' 27-19 victory. In Week 4, Willie Young did not notch a sack for the first time in his Bears career, although he did block a Mason Crosby kick. In Week 5 at the Carolina Panthers, he sacked Cam Newton once, although the Bears lost the game 24-31. In Week 6 against the Atlanta Falcons, he notched 2 more sacks in a Bears 27-13 victory over the Falcons. Unfortunately, the Chicago Bears defensive unit had increased injury and performance issues throughout the year which led to decreased production as a whole. Young went on to gain three more sacks throughout the season against the Minnesota Vikings, Dallas Cowboys, and New Orleans Saints. Willie Young ended the season with a career high and team high 10 sacks.[7]

With the Bears switching to a 3-4 base, Young will be playing outside linebacker as of 2015.

On July 30, 2016, Young agreed to a two-year contract extension.[8]


  1. ^ a b c Willie Young, NC State, retrieved August 7, 2009.
  2. ^ Willie Young Profile, Scout.com, retrieved August 7, 2009.
  3. ^ 2006 Cumulative season Statistics, NC State, retrieved August 7, 2009.
  4. ^ Willie Young, The NFL Draft Scout, retrieved August 7, 2009.
  5. ^ Huffington Post, retrieved August 24, 2013
  6. ^ Bears sign DE Young, WR Hixon
  7. ^ http://www.nfl.com/stats/categorystats?tabSeq=0&statisticCategory=SACKS&season=2014&seasonType=REG
  8. ^ Meyer, Max (July 30, 2016). "Willie Young, Bears agree to two-year extension". NFL.com. Retrieved July 30, 2016. 

External links[edit]