If you asked Chris Young four years ago which sideline he’d be on for the UW vs. ASU game, it would have been easy for him to answer.
Young would have been a Husky.
Instead, the Seattle, Wash., native was on the Sun Devils’ sideline for last Saturday’s 53-24 beat down of the Huskies.
And Young said he wouldn’t change a thing.
“(Washington) was obviously the college I wanted to go to,” Young said. “But on the other side of that, I have a lot of great friends on the other side, and it was great to see them and beat them.”
The senior linebacker and four-star high school recruit committed to play for the Huskies but never made it to UW because of academic issues.
Young instead played junior college ball at Arizona Western before transferring to ASU last year.
Saturday’s game was the first and only chance, assuming the two schools don’t meet in the Pac-12 championship game, for Young to play against his former dream school.
Young admitted facing off against the Huskies was a different experience.
“It goes a little deeper than what most people see on the outside,” Young said. “I just wanted to show everyone I really wanted this and we really needed this.”
Young showed everyone, including his parents and a couple close friends who came to the Valley, what the game meant to him by tallying three tackles and a forced fumble in the victory.
Coach Todd Graham even addressed the importance of Washington to Young in his postgame press conference Saturday and reiterated the message after Tuesday’s practice.
“I knew what it meant to him during the recruiting process,” Graham said. “I can tell he had some guys he had some relationships with that he knew, so it was a very important win for him.”
It was all smiles for Young after the game though, and for good reason.
Young is familiar with many of the Huskies, including junior defensive lineman Danny Shelton, his high school teammate at Auburn Senior High School.
Young said it was nice to joke around with the players he nearly called his teammates.
“I was kind of just throwing (the win) in their face,” Young said. “It was great to see friends I haven’t seen in a while. It was just an awesome time getting to play them.”
Young wished he had the chance to play against the Huskies in his hometown and at Husky Stadium but was grateful for the opportunity to play the purple and gold in Tempe as well.
“Either way, playing up there or down here, it was great,” Young said. “It would have been a cool opportunity to play back home, though.”
Looking back, Young has realized he’s in the right place, miles away from home with legitimate Pac-12 title aspirations.
“I chose the right school,” Young said. “Obviously, coming to Arizona State has been one of the greatest choices I could have ever made, so I can look back on it and be very proud.”
– Sophomore running back D.J. Foster was once again limited in practice Wednesday, still recovering from his left leg injury.
– Redshirt junior tight end De’Marieya Nelson spent time working out after practice with defensive line coach Jackie Shipp. Nelson played on defense against the Huskies, and Graham said he plans to continue to use him as a pass rusher.
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