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Regarded by many as the finest defensive product produced at this university since the Jack Lambert era (1971-73), Young has been the anchor of the secondary ever since moving into the starting lineup as a true freshman. In addition to excelling as a shutdown cornerback, the physical tackler has also garnered national academic honors.
In 2006, Young was named as a semifinalist for the Draddy Trophy, one of college football's most sought after and competitive awards. The Draddy Trophy recognizes an individual as the absolute best in the country for his combined academic success, football performance and exemplary community leadership.
At Largo High School, Young earned second-team All-State Big School honors from the Associated Press as a senior. He also received All-Metro honorable mention, as he made 65 tackles and had five interceptions that season.
A two-time All-League selection, he finished his career with 160 tackles and 12 interceptions, and also had 20 receptions on offense. He earned four letters in track, and three each in football and baseball.
In 2003, Young was a College Football News Freshman All-American honorable mention. He started nine of 12 games he appeared in at strong-side cornerback. He finished his first season with 49 tackles (32 solos) and a pair of fumble recoveries. He picked off two passes and deflected eight others.
In 2004, Young started 10 games, sitting out the Central Michigan game with a hip strain. He totaled 39 tackles (28 solos) with a stop for a loss and a quarterback pressure. He had four pass break-ups and returned three interceptions for 57 yards.
As a junior, Young started the team's first five games and the Northern Illinois and Akron games. He came up with 50 tackles (30 solos) while making four stops behind the line of scrimmage. He intercepted two passes and batted away three others.
A second-team All-Mid American Conference choice in 2006, Young finished sixth on the team with a career-high 60 tackles (39 solos), including three stops for losses. He caused three fumbles and blocked a kick. He also had six pass break-ups and two interceptions.
In 45 games at Kent State, Young started 37 contests. He registered 198 tackles (129 solos) with eight stops for losses of 16 yards and one pressure. He caused three fumbles and recovered two others, returning one for a two-yard gain. He deflected 21 passes and ranks 11th on the school's all-time record list with nine interceptions for 71 yards in returns (7.9 avg). He also blocked one kick.
Positives: Long-limbed athlete with a frame that can carry at least another 10 pounds of bulk without it affecting his excellent timed speed...Has a tight abdomen and lean muscle tone, showing good hip flip and suddenness coming out of his breaks...Hard worker in practices and games, putting forth the extra hours for game preparation...Needs to be more aggressive attacking the ball carrier and ball in flight, but is a smart player with the instincts to make quick reads and instantly react to the play (used to be slow in his reads, but showed marked improvement as a senior)...Shows proper timing moves to make plays on the ball, but needs to be more aggressive...Maintains position on the receiver in man coverage, whether playing, trailing, covering or allowing cushion on the pass, despite having long legs and being high-cut...Compensates when beaten long with good recovery speed and gets out of his turns with precision...Has adequate ball reaction skills, displaying decent timing in attempts to break up the play...not really a ball hawk, but shows efficient hands for the interception, doing a nice job of snatching the ball outside the frame...Has the burst to cover ground quickly and even though he is just a marginal tackler, he will get into position and drop his pads in attempts to stall the ball carrier in run support...Has great special teams potential, as he shows the quick closing burst to get down field and break up the wedge...Well-balanced through transition, showing the plant and drive agility to come out of his breaks cleanly...Has a good feel for route progression and does a nice job of getting his head turned to track the ball in flight...effective at keeping plays in front of him playing in the zone and explodes out of his breaks to stay tight on the receiver's hip.
Negatives: Needs to develop better lower body strength...Legs are too skinny for him to hold ground working near the pile...Willing tackler, but lacks strength to explode into the ball carrier...Also needs to play with more aggression, especially when competing for the ball in a crowd...Gets bounced around too much at the line of scrimmage to lend any type of run support...Will generally take a side or ankle bite in attempts to make the tackle.
Compares To: CHRIS GAMBLE-Carolina...Young has the quickness to stay with any receiver throughout the route and is starting to develop better read and react skills. However, like Gamble, he lacks strength and aggressiveness to be a forceful tackler and needs to do a better job competing for jump balls. His speed is his best asset, but he will have to develop a mean streak and start showing better authority with his tackles if he hopes to be anything more than a situational cover corner.
Ranked 11th in school history with nine interceptions during his career.
All-Mid American Conference second-team selection...Super Sleeper Team choice by The NFL Draft Report...Started 11 games at strong-side (left) cornerback, coming off the bench vs. Miami (Oh.)...Ranked sixth on the team with a career-high 60 tackles (39 solos), including three stops for losses of 5 yards...Caused three fumbles and blocked an extra point attempt...Deflected six passes and intercepted two others for 16 yards in returns.
Started seven of eleven games, including the team's first five contests...Ranked ninth on the squad with 50 tackles (30 solos), including four stops for losses of 8 yards...Batted away three passes and intercepted two others for losses of 2 yards.
Started ten games at left cornerback, sitting out the Central Michigan game with a hip strain...Recorded 39 tackles (28 solos) with a stop for a 3-yard loss and a pressure...Had three interceptions for 57 yards in returns and four pass deflections.
College Football News Freshman All-American honorable mention...Started nine of twelve games as a true freshman...Recorded 49 tackles (32 solos) with two fumble recoveries and eight pass deflections...Advanced a fumble recovery 2 yards and intercepted a pair of passes in the Central Florida clash.
1999: Missed half of his freshman high school season with a fractured bone in his left shoulder.
2004: Sat out the Central Michigan game with a hip strain.
Campus: 4.39 in the 40-yard dash...Bench pressed 225 pounds 14 times...43-inch vertical jump...10'11" broad jump...4.31 20-yard shuttle...6.65 three-cone drill...30 1/4-inch arm length...9 3/8-inch hands...Right-handed...24/27 Wonderlic score.
Attended Largo (Mary.) High School, playing football for head coach Eric Wade...Earned second-team All-State Big School honors from the Associated Press as a senior...Also received All-Metro honorable mention, as he made 65 tackles and had five interceptions that season...A two-time All-League selection, he finished his career with 160 tackles and 12 interceptions, and also had 20 receptions on offense...Earned four letters in track, and three each in football and baseball.
Health and Physical Education major...First name is pronounced oo-SOMM-uh....Son of Khaulata Murladha and LeRoi and Janice Young...Born 5/08/85...Resides in Largo, Maryland.
Draft Scout Player News
11/30/13 - SS Usama Young left the game in the fourth quarter with a stinger.
11/13/13 - -- FS Usama Young played 37 snaps with a sack against the Giants and a pass defensed after getting just two snaps against Phialdelphia.
09/03/13 - FS Usama Young missed practice with an undisclosed injury and his status for the opener is unknown.
08/26/13 - FS Usama Young left with a hamstring strain and didn't return and it is hoped he won't miss any practice time.
04/09/13 - The Oakland Raiders signed free agent defensive backs Mike Jenkins and Usama Young.
Jenkins, displaced as a starter last year when the Dallas Cowboys selected Morris Claiborne in the first round, signed a one-year contract. Jenkins comes to Oakland after five years with the Cowboys, and will join newly signed Tracy Porter, signed last week, in the competition for starting cornerback jobs.
Jenkins has started 48 of the 71 games in which he has appeared, and has eight career interceptions, 43 passes defensed, one forced fumble and one interception return for a touchdown.
Young is entering his seventh NFL season, and started 11 of 13 games for the Cleveland Browns last season. He entered the league as a third-round pick by the New Orleans Saints in 2007, and has started 25 of 81 career games.