Willie Young led N.C. State with six sacks and 16 tackles for loss last season, but was light for a defensive end with 225 pounds on his 6-foot-4 frame. Now he is up to about 245 pounds.
"At the point of contact, it’s a lot more effective," Young said. "I get a better push. Just overall, being able to carry the weight, and right now at 245, it still feels great. I can move around with it. I don’t feel like I’ve lost a lot of speed."
Young might be the only player on N.C. State's defense who's capable of contending for first-team All-ACC honors. His added size should help him, particularly against the run.
His angular physique occasionally had opposing offensive coordinators testing him with running plays in 2007, particularly early in the season.
"I always feel like I’ve been strong against the run," he said, "but now I feel like I’m even better against the run. I feel like I’m somebody that my team can depend on and I take that as a positive and try to run with that."