Chargers Intrigued By Former Aztecs Star

Chad Young plays a unique position in the NFL

The National Football League has long had a bias against fullbacks. They don’t wow you with big rushing totals. That honor goes to the men they’re blocking for.

Sure, you’ll see a fullback in the Pro Bowl each year … but there’s not a single true blocking fullback enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Today, with the spread of the spread offense, the blocking fullback is an endangered species.

“I haven’t had too many opportunities,” says Chad Young. He’s a blocking fullback from San Diego State who is at the Chargers rookie mini-camp as a non-contract player. That means he’s basically trying out for the right to try out. “I’m just proud to be back down here and I’m excited for the new opportunity.”

Young went to training camp in 2014 with the Jets but was released in August. Now that he has another lease on an NFL life, he’s just looking for one thing: A chance.

“(To) show what I can do out here,” says Young. “Show that I can lead blocks. Show that I can catch the ball out of the backfield. You know, that’s all I can do is work as hard as I can and enjoy it.”

He’s an intriguing prospect for the Bolts, who did not have a blocking fullback on the roster last year. They used Le’Ron McClain for two ineffective years but that might be more a factor of Ryan Mathews not really having the ability to use a fullback.

That is not the case with Melvin Gordon. The Chargers first round pick ran behind a pretty good fullback at Wisconsin named Derek Watt. Yes, he’s the younger brother of that monster down in Houston. Young, who’s only 5’10” but weighs 240 pounds, is in that mold. He’s the kind of guy who can get a seal block and spring Gordon for a long run. His experience in New York a year ago gave Young a good idea of what it takes to play his way on to a roster.

“I think it comes down to details,” said Young. “So when you’re doing everything right; when you’re in the meeting rooms right, when you’re in the weight room right, when you’re on the field right, paying attention to those small details and if they can coach you that goes a long way.”

One of the knocks against a true blocking fullback is the perception that that kind of player lacks versatility. But Young feels like his unique blocking ability simply makes him a better-rounded weapon.

“I feel comfortable doing it all,” says Young. “Being able to lead block, being that 3rd down back and catching the ball out of the backfield, do whatever is asked of me to the best of my ability.”

Plus, the Chargers have not exactly been stellar in the Red Zone the last couple of years. They could certainly use a sledge hammer down around the goal line.

“Absolutely!” says Young. “That’s first and foremost. If you like to run the ball downhill and get some yards doing that, that’s what I love to do.”

It’s very similar to the element Lorenzo Neal brought to San Diego, and that worked out pretty well for the Chargers.

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