NORMAN — Continuing our new weekly “Walk-on Wednesday” blog series, this week we talked with senior cornerback Brandon Young.
Young wasn’t heavily recruited out of Frisco, Texas, and decided to walk-on at OU right out of high school rather than accept one of the NCAA Division 2 scholarship offers he held.
Young appeared in three games as a junior last season, marking the only three game appearances of his college football career. He didn’t play in last week’s 2014 season opener against Louisiana Tech.
The series began last week with Ryan Aber’s post on senior linebacker Caleb Gastelum.
Q: How did you end up at OU?
A: Coming out of high school, I wasn’t heavily recruited. I didn’t play on the best high school team, but I knew I wanted to play college football somewhere, and I knew I had the talent to play. I had a couple D-2 offers, and I knew I could go bigger than that. I wanted to test my luck and see how I could do at a big school like OU.
Has this experience been what you’d hoped for?
It’s been everything I expected. Just being around so many talented people, you learn to feed off their talent, and you get better each and every day. My journey has been great.
Other walk-ons have said they don’t feel like they’re treated any differently than scholarship players.
No, you don’t. It’s a team atmosphere. Whether you’re a walk-on or a five-star recruit athlete, we’re all family and all treat each other like family. That’s the thing about OU that makes it so special. It’s kinda like a fraternity.
What are goals that you set for yourself?
You definitely do have to work harder to prove yourself. I try to set weekly goals for myself, get better at something that maybe I wasn’t as good at last week. Last year, I played a little bit, so that was a good experience.
Who are some players you’ve learned from and looked up to since being here?
(Aaron Colvin) has definitely been a leader I looked up to over the years. Gabe Lynn. Kass Everett. Dudes like Tony Jefferson. Big-time players that have come through this program and been successful. They’ve definitely been leaders. They treated me like a brother.
The NCAA loosened up restrictions on meals and snacks recently, and walk-ons are also allowed unlimited food. How much does that help?
It helps a ton. Going from practice to practice, you lose a lot, so being able to get that nutrition throughout the day really helps a lot. Being able to leave here with food when you go home after a hard, heavy practice really makes a difference.