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Perry Young Season in Review

The three-star recruit played his way into the rotation as a freshman.

NCAA Football: East Carolina at Cincinnati Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

The Numbers

  • 42 tackles
  • 1.5 tackles for loss
  • 1 pass defended

There weren’t a ton of freshmen who made a major imprint on the football field for the Cincinnati Bearcats in 2016. One player who broke that mold was Perry Young, a defensive back who managed to play his way into an important role by the time the year was over.

Young was a three-star recruit out of Birmingham, Alabama, ranked the No. 152 safety in the 2016 class by That wasn’t enough to earn him a starting job out of camp, but his efforts during the summer, plus UC’s roster breakdown allowed him to earn playing time right away. He appeared in all 12 games for the Bearcats, but really didn’t hit his stride and become an important member of the defense until later on in the year, even starting in UC’s battle with Temple.

Across those 12 games, Young proved to be a solid defensive contributor, filling in all over the secondary and even at linebacker, as he started at WLB against the Owls. He accumulated 42 tackles, including 24 of the solo variety. He tied for fifth on the team in solo stops and seventh in total tackles. He didn’t do too much in terms of putting the clamps on opposing backfields, with only 1.5 tackles for loss, and his one-on-one coverage still needs to develop, as he deflected a single pass. Still, he got a healthy serving of real game action as a freshman and will be an experienced member of the secondary in the first year under Luke Fickell.

The Best of the Best

Oct. 29 at Temple

In his one and only start of the season, Young was sensational. He racked up 12 tackles, including 10 solo jobs. In addition, he recorded a tackle for a loss. Unfortunately, that effort came during a setback for the Bearcats.

Nov. 5 vs. BYU

He may not have brought anyone down behind the line, but he had nine tackles a week after making a ton of noise against Temple.

Nov. 25 at Tulsa

This was another nine-tackle outing for Young, who helped on a tackle for loss and recorded his lone pass defended of the year.

For Next Year

Cincinnati added a number of recruits in the secondary and there is depth at cornerback especially, but Young should still get plenty of playing time, especially if he continues to show his versatility. He needs to be better when it comes to defending the pass and, as with most players on the team, could do with some improved pressure producing practices. In all, though, considering he has just one year under his belt, Young’s development is off to a promising start.