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Bryant Young Biography - By Bryan Hersh

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A tribute to the best defensive tackle in football: Bryant Young.
Perhaps the best defensive tackle to ever play the game of football Bryant Young is an even better person than he is a football player.

It's pretty remarkable to consider that a person with a titanium rod in his leg would not only be able to play football, but play it at the level Bryant Young does.

Amazingly Bryant Young contributes even more off the field.  Not only is he one of the veteran leaders of the 49ers, but he spends much of his free time helping charities and giving to others.  Bryant Young founded the foundation Young Dreams.

Bryant Young is way more than just a football player, Young is the heart and soul of the 49ers, who has gone through more pain and anguish in the game than most players even want to consider.  His remarkable work ethic allowed him to return from a broken leg where both his fibula and tibia were snapped during a game.   Young is also the holder of more Len Eshmont awards  than any 49er ever, and has become the annual winner.  The Eshmont award is given by team-mates to  signify a player's heart, leadership and courageous performances within the Niners organization.

Want to have your opinion of Bryant Young forever enshrined on 49ers Paradise? I am attempting to compile a page of fan's memories of Bryant Young, please E-mail me your memories.

Bryant Colby Young was born on January 27th, 1972. He was born in his home to of Chicago Heights, IL. There he was raised and began learning the game of football. Almost immediately Young became a star player. He won many awards as a youngster and was on his to an NFL career.

Young attended Notre Dame where he majored in marketing, but devoted his time to football. As an all American in his senior year, Young played along side soon to be 49ers’ Junior Bryant and Marc Edwards. The three were thrilled to find each other again on the same team as 49ers.

In 1994 the 49ers made Bryant Young their first round pick. Young would contribute greatly that season and become part of one of the best 49ers defenses in history. That season, Young had six sacks, a fumble recovery and a forced fumble. It was his play, along with the rest of the team that took the 49ers to their fifth Super Bowl title. Bryant Young was far from a one-year wonder though.

Over the next few years, Young would record 24 sacks over three years, including 15 in 1996. He was quickly becoming the terror of opposing NFL teams. By 1998 it was clear that Bryant Young was the best defensive tackle in football. In the same season, Bryant Young fractured his leg when Ken Norton Jr.’s helmet collided into it. The collision broke his tibia and fibula. Young would miss the rest of the season being placed on the injured reserved.

Even after suffering a career threatening injury, Young wanted to return to football. He worked hard, rehabbing his injury with extreme efforts. His dedication paid off when he came back in 1999 and started all 16 games. Young’s efforts also came with eleven sacks. He dazzled teammates to such a great extent that he has become the holder of more Len Eshmont awards than any 49er ever, and has become the annual winner. The Eshmont award is given by teammates to signify a player's heart, leadership and courageous performances within the Niners organization.

Young’s career continues to amaze fans, players and coaches. The story of his career, and remarkable dedication to the game have allowed him to become the premier player at his position. Already holding one Super Bowl ring, Young is working hard to become one of the few players to have the opportunity to wear two Super Bowl rings.

"I think I’m a leader, I’m not a big talker or vocal person out on the field. But I do speak when I think things need to be said. For the most part, I lead by example.”

-- Bryant Young after being asked about his leadership role with the team.

"He gives us greatness,'' 

-- Bill Walsh, the former head coach and general manager of the 49ers.

"You know, I love that guy, he's just something."

-- Steve Mariucci, who has grown close to Young and leaned on him in his initial season as coach of the 49ers.

"He never, ever comes across with an air of a superstar, or a prima donna. You'd never know that he was a superstar. And he is a superstar. Make no mistake about that. He's the premier player at his position in the NFL."

--Jim Mora Jr current defensive coordinator of the 49ers.

"I just felt that was the most remarkable act I've ever seen out of anyone, when you have someone in the hospital, they're basically centered on themselves, trying to get themselves healed. But he was more concerned about the kids and visiting whoever he could .... And this was right before the Christmas holidays."

--Frances Carter, one of the nurses who cared for Young.

"Bryant Young is the all-around defensive tackle with the best blend of explosion, power, quickness and speed. Not everybody has those four. Some people have three; some people have three-and-a-half. He's got four. He knows how to use them. He's the total package." 

--center Mike Gruttadauria of the NFC West rival Rams.

"Bryant Young is one of my all time favourite 49ers.  His presence on and off the field is simply remarkable, and his dedication to good is simply remarkable. ."

-- Bryan Hersh, creator of 49ers Paradise.

 



 
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