A season ending quad injury to senior linebacker Taylor Young capped the college career of the best defender for Baylor football in 2017.
Baylor football has a chance to make a real jump in the Big 12 standings in 2018 under the direction of head coach Matt Rhule. While the Bears only won one game in 2017, there were numerous positive takeaways down the stretch. One of those positive takeaways included the play of experienced senior linebacker Taylor Young.
While Young will not be back in Waco in 2018, he was the x-factor to this Baylor defense this year. Young led the team in total tackles, with 60. He finished second in sacks, with three, and fourth in tackles for loss, with eight. Rhule will lose his most reliable linebacker next season.
Baylor’s defense did not get the credit it deserved at the end of the regular season. Rhule instilled the same toughness and competitive mentality with the Bears that he did with the Temple Owls. Yet, few players matched the intensity that Young brought each week.
Young’s best performance came in Baylor’s only win of the year, 38-9, over the Kansas Jayhawks. He finished the contest with 10 total tackles, three tackles for loss, and one sack. However, Young’s season would be ended the following week, in the loss to the Texas Tech Red Raiders. He would not play in the losses to the Iowa State Cyclones and TCU Horned Frogs.
Fans could see the effect that Young had on this defense, even in his absence. Sophomore linebacker Lenoy Jones Jr. stepped up in place of Young in the loss to Iowa State, leading the team in that game with seven total tackles. Players like Jones Jr. signify a bright future ahead for the Baylor defense.
For now, Baylor fans can appreciate the impressive tenure that Young put together in his college career. Young wrapped up his Baylor career with 324 total tackles, 38.5 tackles for loss, and 14.5 sacks.