Senior cornerback Tavon Young was a record-setter for the 2012 Owls defense, and hasn’t looked back
since. Playing under former coach Steve Addazio, Young set a program record when he became Temple’s only true freshman to record 100 tackles in a season. Who else was a true freshman that season? Tyler Matakevich.
Young has since matured into a leader on and off the field, emerging as the face of the 2015 Owls secondary. In a preseason poll, Young was ranked 79th out of 259 eligible cornerbacks on nfldraftscout.com. The veteran CB hasn’t disappointed. Young is 3rd on the team in tackles thus far, recording 19 total tackles, trailing only Jarred Alwan and Tyler Matakevich.
The Owls secondary opened the season by completely blanking first round, pro-hopeful Christian Hackenberg. The Owls allowed a mere 103 passing yards and forced an interception. The defense’s test didn’t end there. The Owls have since faced two more NFL quarterback prospects in Cincinnati’s Gunner Kiel and UMass’s Blake Frohnapfel. No matter who the Owls defense has went up against, they’ve found a way to win. The Owls defense and the Young-led secondary intercepted Kiel four times and went on to force Blake Frohnapfel to chuck 26 incompletions- the most he’s thrown all season.
Young, the secondary’s only returning starter from 2013, led the 2014 Owls in interceptions as he picked off a career high four passes. Two of those takeaways came in Week 1 against SEC opponent Vanderbilt. His performance earned him AAC Defensive Player of the Week honors.
Young’s decorated college career is headlined by his electrifying 93-yard interception return against UConn in 2014. Young was sitting in a cover-3 zone at his corner position. He read the quarterback’s eyes and shuffled backwards a couple of yards to jump an out-route from a UConn receiver at the 7-yard line. Young went on to evade four UConn players before showing off his blazing speed, racing up the middle of the field untouched for a touchdown. Watch the play below:
Catching passes and utilizing his blazing speed has proven to be his trademark.
Young played wide receiver and cornerback in high school and his efforts made him a 2011 Chick-Fil-A All-Star, which drew Division 1 attention. Several schools recruited Young including West Virginia, Pittsburgh and Rutgers. What made Young such a standout athlete was his performance not only on the field, but on the track as well. Young was a part of a 4×100 relay that took first place in the Championships of the Americas at the 2011 Penn Relays, breaking a Maryland state record that had stood for 20 years.
Young’s consistent success is finally getting recognized as the team sits at 4-0. His playmaking ability and leadership will be needed down the stretch in order to keep this historic run alive.