Young gets another shot at NFL, signs with Jets’ practice squad

All Chris Young wanted coming out of college was a chance to prove he was capable of playing at the next level.

All Chris Young wanted coming out of college was a chance to prove he was capable of playing at the next level.

The former Arizona State University and Auburn High School standout got another opportunity this week. The New York Jets signed the 6-foot, 250-pound linebacker to their 10-man practice squad Wednesday.

“(The NFL is) a business, but I feel that I can try as hard as I can and see where that gets me,” Young told the Auburn Reporter last year on the eve of his final game with the Sun Devils.

The Jets are off to a 1-7 start.

Also known as scout teams, the practice squad players practice with the team, but are not allowed to participate in games unless they are added to the 53-man roster. Practice squads are free agents and may sign with any other NFL team’s 53-man roster. Scout team players earn a minimum of $6,000 a week, with no limit on how much the team can pay them.

Young had a stellar collegiate career. In two seasons and 27 starts at ASU, he finished with 194 tackles, 21.5 tackles for loss, 7.5 sacks, two fumble recoveries and two forced fumbles. But Young went undrafted.

Determined to continue his playing career, Young signed as a free agent with the Houston Texans, making it all the way through training camp before being cut at the 53-man roster deadline on Aug. 30.

Path to the pros

Originally slated to sign with the University of Washington, Young squandered his first chance to play Division I football because of poor grades and low SAT scores.

Undeterred, Young attended Western Arizona College, a two-year school, where he earned his way onto the Sun Devils squad academically and athletically.

After converting to linebacker his sophomore season at Arizona Western, Young was named the Western States Football League Defensive Player of the Year and was a junior college first-team All-American. Young finished that season with 111 tackles, including 30 for a loss. He also notched five fumble recoveries, four forced fumbles, two interceptions and six defensive touchdowns.

At Auburn, where he graduated in 2010, Young was a standout on both sides of the ball, earning 1,424 yards rushing on 104 carries for a 13.4 yards per carry average and 25 touchdowns his senior season. Defensively, at safety, he notched 78 tackles and two sacks.