First off I’d like to give praise glory and honor to my Lord and savior Jesus Christ for blessing me with this interview
James Young II | McKendree University | Defensive Back
Q: Tell us about your college career and what the recruiting process was like. Why did you choose McKendree University?
A: Well I had a scholarship to go to Indiana State University out of high school but I ended up going juco at Iowa Central Community College. Had multiple D1-D2 offers after juco and I chose Iowa State. I was there for about a month and due to some personal issues I had to leave and come back home and at the last minute I was blessed to attend McKendree University a division 2 school located in Lebanon IL.
Q: What would you consider to be your biggest accomplishment in your sports career so far?
A: Seeing myself grow, the player I am now is a completely different player I was my freshman year. I noticed how much better I got, how stronger and bigger I got, how my confidence went up, and how much faster I got. Just witnessing how much better I got every year is a great accomplishment. I haven’t even hit my prime yet.
Q: What do you consider to be one of the more important things you learned from the coaching staff while playing at McKendree University.
A: Well one of the greatest coaches to coach me was my defensive back coach, Coach Harrison, and he really taught me a lot about being a great DB and a lot of life lessons I will remember for the rest of my life. He always use to tell us “if you go inside you better win” and that saying meant a lot to us.
Q: What was your major and what are your plans if football didn’t work out?
A: I majored in sociology with a minor in psychology and if football didn’t work out I want to go to Law School and become an attorney.
Q: What would your teammates say about you and your qualities?
A: Probably the level of confidence I have and how I keep the energy of the team up. I know for a fact the person lining up across from me isn’t better than me so I’m going dominate whoever it is whether it’s a WR or RB. I always use to tell the defense “turn that juice up”, or I’m running around yelling in practice to keep everybody hyped. So that made the energy not only of the defense high but the whole team high and made us play at high level.
Q: What has been your biggest challenge and how do you manage it?
A: My biggest challenge was the amount of people that doubted me. When I started playing football I was never the biggest person on the field so a lot people doubted me telling me “I’m too small” or “I’m not fast enough” and I never let that get me down it just added fuel to the flam. I had to prove people wrong all my life. A lot people, even coaches, doubted me and told me I couldn’t do this or I couldn’t do that and all that does is make me go harder. I have something to prove, I go so hard in everything I do because people doubt it, I love proving people wrong.
Q: What is your biggest strength that you bring to a professional team and why should pro scouts consider you?
A: My speed, my level of confidence and work ethic. Not being a top prospect in the draft convinces me that I have to work twice as hard as those who are. I have to do way more because the odds are already against me. I have to get more reps, I have run more sprints because I’m already not in the position as most guys. I know my speed can play a key factor on any professional team, I’m a 4.4 – 4.3 type of guy. I believe I’m the best corner in D2 football, not trying to be cocky I’m just confident.
Q: Who is or has been the most influential person in your life?
A: Both of my parents, I was blessed to have both of my parents in my life and they always made me a better person. From improving my relationship with God to staying out of trouble, they really showed me how to work hard and how to work for everything in life, nothing will be given.
Q: Are you involved in mentoring, a charity or do you “give back”/”pay it forward” in your community?
A: Every first Friday of every month, my church takes a bus to downtown Chicago and we feed the homeless. I was apart of that until I had to go back to school.
Q: How are you preparing for the 2019 National Scouting Combine and what were your expectations?
A: I train with the best trainer in the south suburbs of Chicago (Coach Lacey) Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, working non stop on quickness, agility and speed. I also lift weights Thursday- Sunday, which benefits my strength and conditioning.
Q: What would be your ultimate achievement?
A: My ultimate achievement would be making a professional team roster, whether it be NFL, CFL, or AFL. I just want to show people that it doesn’t matter your size or what people say about it, if you put God first in your life he will guide your steps in whatever you want to do. I have a story to tell and I want to share it with the world.