INDIANAPOLIS — For some athletes, playing in their hometown can be a burden. Endless ticket requests. Friends and family always around them. NBA star Kevin Durant once said he didn’t want to play in the District because he wanted to see a different part of the country.
But that’s not an issue for Chase Young.
The Ohio State pass rusher said Thursday it would “mean a lot” to play for the Washington Redskins, the Maryland native’s hometown team. Washington holds the second pick in April’s draft and Young is seen as the logical choice after LSU quarterback Joe Burrow is likely taken first overall by the Cincinnati Bengals.
“Growing back up, playing in front of my hometown people, it would definitely be a blessing,” Young said. “Everybody who’s known me could come to a game. You know, things like that.”
Young said he wasn’t a fan of any team growing up, being more drawn to individual players. But the 20-year-old “always” watched the Redskins, he said, and developed an affinity for safety Sean Taylor and running back Clinton Portis.
Born in Upper Marlboro, Young attended DeMatha Catholic High School before committing to Ohio State. As a Buckeye, Young was a disruptive pass rusher — leading the nation in sacks last fall on his way to being named a finalist for the Heisman Trophy.
If Young is drafted by the Redskins, he’ll be reunited with former Ohio State teammates Dwayne Haskins and Terry McLaurin.
“Me and Dwayne, we talk all the time,” Young said. “I’ve known Dwayne since high school. He definitely loves the organization. Obviously he wants me to come play with him. But I just think we’ll see how this whole thing turns out.”
Young has yet to have a formal meeting with the Redskins, but said he will do so on Friday.
Redskins coach Ron Rivera said Wednesday that Washington would explore all options for their selection, including Young. The team also plans to meet with Burrow and quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.
Young said he wasn’t worried about who would draft him, adding he’ll go to whichever team drafts him. He just wants to be picked.
“Oh listen, it’s going to be exciting,” Young said. “I’m definitely going to be excited to play with the big dogs, man. And I’m excited to show the world what I can do.”