Shortly after putting his name into the transfer portal last month, Reggie Young began hearing from the staff at Colorado.
It didn’t take long for him to decide he wanted to be a part of the new-look Buffs led by first-year head coach Deion Sanders.
“My inner child was screaming, ‘Go to Colorado,’” Young said. “It’s just the most unique situation, and you can only be excited for what Colorado has going on right now.
“I think it is the most unique opportunity in the country this year, as far as everybody wants to see what’s going to happen and all eyes are on Colorado football. So I think this is the college football dream.”
Young, a 6-foot-4, 295-pound offensive tackle from Liberty, is one of 48 transfers added by Sanders this offseason, and he is an intriguing prospect.
One of nine offensive line transfers, Young comes to CU with huge potential but only one season to play. CU’s coaches believe Young can make an impact or else he wouldn’t be here.
“I have one season left, it’s no secret, so if you don’t see me being a guy that can impact your team immediately, let us go our separate ways right now,” Young said of his messages to coaches during the recruiting process. “So I definitely see the opportunity (at CU).”
It’s been a long journey to Boulder.
Young and his family moved from Savannah, Ga., to New Orleans for his senior year of high school and it wasn’t until that year, 2017, that he started playing football. After graduating from Edna Carr (La.) High School in 2017, he has played at Northwestern State, Iowa Central Community College and Liberty.
“I feel like I’ve lived in every state in the United States,” he joked.
Along the way, Young has gone through a lot of development on and off the field, including earning NJCAA second-team All-American honors in 2021 while at Iowa Central.
“It’s done a lot for me for my game on the field; it’s done a lot for me as a man off the field,” he said of his journey. “I’ve seen it all, I’ve done it all. I’ve had a lot of time to grow and mature. I’ve played at every single level, so I have a lot of confidence in my game. I’ve proven to myself that I can play at every single level and play it the right way.
“I’ve quite literally had to crawl my way up the ladder. I started at the very lowest level. I went junior college and I had to truly work on my game. Those times are what built the player I am now, being faithful to my god and just being faithful to the ultimate picture that I had for myself and my career. I’ve been stacking days for years now. So I just felt like, man, it’s coming together. I’ve been faithful and I’m ready for this opportunity.”
A year ago, Young transferred to Liberty to play for coach Hugh Freeze. An illness early in preseason camp caused Young to lose almost 30 pounds, though, and sent him to the hospital.
When he got back, Young didn’t start, but earned playing time as a key reserve for the Flames. It was limited snaps, but it allowed Young to get a taste of FBS football and put some good plays on a highlight reel.
Young said he never imagined transferring again, but once Freeze left Liberty for the head coaching job at Auburn last winter, that changed. Young went through spring with Liberty and did well, he said, but chose to take his career in a different path in April when he entered the portal.
At CU, he joins an offensive line group loaded with college experience, but not at the Power 5 level. Returning Buffs’ starters Gerad Christian-Lichtenhan and Van Wells are the only linemen in the group with Power 5 starts and snaps under their belt. Young likes the opportunity at CU because of the experience he brings.
“I’ve played in games. I have experience,” he said. “I’m more so ready to impact right now. … I’m not a project. I’m ready to play right now. I was playing, I was starting for a Division I football team just a month ago, so it’s not like I have time for them to mold and shape; I’m ready to step on the field right now.”
And, he’s ready to be a part of what will be one of the most intriguing programs in college football this season. Sanders has reshaped the roster like no other coach has done before as he looks to turn around a CU program that went 1-11 a year ago. Young wants to be an impactful part of the change in Boulder.
“This opportunity, it gets me out of bed in the morning, man,” he said. “This is going to be an historic season for Colorado in itself. They haven’t had much to brag about lately and it’s going to be an historic season for college football. … If that doesn’t get you fired up and motivated to want to be your best self, then I don’t know what does.”