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2015 NFL Draft Profile: Arkansas State DB Sterling Young

Arkansas State defensive back Sterling Young has been a rock in the A-State defensive back line and, though he played in the secondary, he was far from a secondary character in the team's successes over the past four seasons.

Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

Sterling Young, a redshirt senior with Arkansas State, leaves Jonesboro after spending four seasons in the Red Wolves secondary. He was a steady, if unspectacular, member of the group that was the team's saving grace in 2014. On the odd occasion that fellow NFL hopeful Qushaun Lee couldn't tackle a player, Young was there to clean things up.

Young is a versatile safety who doesn't shy away from contact and who can make plays in the air. Oh and Twitter users tend to take blurry pictures of him.


British readers of Underdog Dynasty will understand that the native of Hoover, AL, has won at life because his first name is wonderful and that with a first name like this one, you don't need a nickname. Young has been very productive during his entire A-State career, starting for the majority of the four years that he played—except for his first season in 2011, when he started half of the time, Young could always be expected to contribute around 70 tackles, two interceptions and a few more passes defended. It was like clockwork.

The Red Wolves coaching staff knew that they had a steady, reliable and versatile safety, with good size and good height at 6-foot-2 and 193 pounds. Maybe that's why already in 2012, Young was on the team's flyer for their bowl game.


Young's biggest gift of reliability might also be his curse: some might say that the fact that he's so steady hides the fact that he doesn't always stand out. The mark of a good safety sometimes is that he can be anonymous, and someone who does not affect the game in any negative way is a good thing. Young didn't pick that many passes off during his stay in Jonesboro, but this also wasn't his role. The A-State coaching staff relied on Young to help in the run game—and lord knows the team needed help against the run in 2014—and to manage the secondary. He did all of that, and more.

Maybe the NFL folks will think that Young doesn't have enough "WOW" moments although if you ask me, this interception against Utah State certainly qualifies as one. A training camp invitation is probably what he should expect.


Because Young is also a former Red Wolf, I will use the same highly unscientific and only mildly relevant method I used for fellow ex-A-State member Qushaun Lee to determine Young's potential NFL future. Sadly, on YouTube, Sterling Young is overlooked by a bigger and brighter name in futbol soccer's own Raheem Sterling. Really. Search "Sterling Young" on the platform, and you have to scroll way down to find a first video of him.

I'm not one who believes in deity but this could be a poorly constructed metaphor of what Young's potential NFL future looks like—it's likely that he'll get overlooked at the draft, but a contract as an undrafted free agent seems likely.