Young Life: Valley Star Shining Bright At Nebraska

As a two-way star at Centennial High School Dedrick Young tallied close to 4,500 totals yards and registered the second most tackles in Coyote history.

Quite simply, he made the game look easy.

So maybe his breakout success as a true freshman linebacker last fall at the University of Nebraska is just another path along his football journey. The six-foot one, 220-pounder only set a Cornhusker record for tackles by a true freshman (61), won the Nebraska Newcomer of the Year Award, as well garnered Big Ten All-Freshman Team and Tom Osborne Citizenship Team honors.

Did we mention he made the Huskers’ Scholar-Athlete Honor Roll in the spring of 2015 (his first on campus) majoring in computer science?

“Nothing surprises me about what he does,” long-time Centennial head coach Richard Taylor told “He prepared himself well and when he got his chance he took advantage of it.”

You could say that.

The memories he made starting at linebacker as a true freshman at a storied program like Nebraska are ones he will remember fondly.

“I was nervous for our first home game,” Young fondly recalled before taking the field against BYU on September 5th. “Coming through the tunnel seeing all those people and all those fans. It was great. You just go out there and look around. Take it all in. It’s fun…just living in the moment.”

Young had plenty of fun his senior season at Centennial leading the Coyotes to a 2014 Division II State Championship over Liberty rushing 26 times for 180 yards and two touchdowns. He also added a touchdown reception and helped set the precedence for last year’s squad who went back-to-back, whipping Desert Ridge 28-6 for the Division I title in late November.

“I really looked up to Dedrick,” graduating senior and UofA-bound cornerback Issac Steele said. “He made me want to lead by example for my teammates [when I was a senior]. Act [the right way] off the field and on the field.”

Probably the only thing which Young hasn’t adapted well to are the Midwest winters.

“It’s really cold,” he said shaking his head with a wry grin.

Give it time.

He’s already proven nothing stands in his way.