This time last week, the Chase Young Heisman push seemed to be gaining ground, even with the big LSU-Alabama matchup looming.
The reason was simple: No one had emerged yet as the clear front-runner.
Young, on the other hand, was on a tear. The 6-foot-5, 265-pound junior had accumulated 22 tackles, 15.5 tackles for loss, 13.5 sacks and five forced fumbles. That included a stunning performance against a stout Wisconsin line, when Young racked up four sacks.
Then the news hit early Friday morning: Young would miss Saturday’s game against Maryland due to an alleged violation of NCAA rules. Young confirmed the suspension via Twitter later in the day.
“Unfortunately, I won’t be playing this week because of an NCAA eligibility issue,” Young tweeted. “I made a mistake last year by accepting a loan from a family friend I’ve known since the summer before my freshman year at OSU. I repaid it in full last summer and I’m working with the University and NCAA to get back on the field as soon as possible”
But if you’re hoping this means the talented pass rusher will drop to your team, you may be disappointed. The general consensus among draft analysts? This won’t impact Young’s stock at all.
As Ian Cummings of Pro Football Network points out, getting suspended for accepting money in college didn’t hurt Todd Gurley or A.J. Green, as both were taken in the top 10 of their respective drafts.
“Due to the circumstances of Young’s suspension, Young’s draft stock is very unlikely to change,” Cummings writes. “The NFL has shown indifference toward these types of occurrences in the past. … Young, like Gurley and Green, is a generational talent, and because the circumstances match, the outcome likely will as well.”