Long before he reached the NFL, Young starred at St. Thomas Aquinas in Fort Lauderdale while watching and cheering for the Dolphins.
“It’s the team I grew up watching,” Young said via conference call Friday, one day after he signed with the Dolphins as an unrestricted free agent. “I remember growing up, my family would go to training camp and be getting autographs from O.J. McDuffie and I remember Zach Thomas and Jason Taylor and to have it come full circle is like a dream come true.”
Young joins the Dolphins after spending time with the Dallas Cowboys, Buffalo Bills and Jacksonville Jaguars, where he appeared in 16 games with three starts in 2015.
Young said he had a few options in free agency, but a couple of factors made Miami his destination of choice.
“Really, what it came down to is I thought Miami was a real good fit with Coach (Adam) Gase and just the organization, not to mention being my hometown team,” Young said. “I thought it would be a really good situation for me and my family.”
After leaving St. Thomas Aquinas as the 2005 Florida Gatorade Player of the Year, Young went on to become a four-year starter at Notre Dame before he was selected in the sixth round of the 2010 draft by the Cowboys.
His career stats include 58 games and 13 starts in his role as a swing tackle capable of moving to both sides. Young said he also saw action at guard during his time in Buffalo.
“I’ve been told I’ll get a chance to compete for the swing tackle position,” Young said of his projected role with the Dolphins. “It’s a role that I’ve had before. It’s a situation where you have to be ready at a moment’s notice. I’m excited for the opportunity to help this team make strides.”
In Miami, Young will be reunited with former Jacksonville offensive line teammate
As an offensive tackle, Young got plenty of opportunities to go up against Williams in practice.
“Talk about just a gifted athlete,” Young said of Williams. “He’s a talented player. You see him in his career, he’s been able to pressure the quarterback and pin his ear back and it allows the rest of the defense to play a little bit more freely knowing the quarterback has less time to sit back there and think.”
Young said his signing with the Dolphins was met with great enthusiasm by family and friends.
“Everyone is very excited,” he said. “Bunch of friends, former teammates, talked to (Former St. Thomas Aquinas) Coach (George) Smith and everyone is very excited for me. It’s been fun to see the outpouring of support from my friends, family and the community at large.”