Class of 2019
Bryant Young
George Connor Lifetime Achievement Award

Bryant Colby Young is the Defensive Line coach for the NFL Atlanta Falcons, following a football career that began at Notre Dame and then for 14 years in the NFL with The San Francisco 49ers. Young was a three-year starter at Notre Dame, lettering in all four years from 1990-93, and was selected as an All-American for his senior year, with 67 tackles and 7.5 sacks. He was drafted by the 49ers in the first round of the 1994 NFL draft. Young had his finest statistical year in ’96, recording 84 tackles, 11.5 sacks, 4 passes defensed, and 2 safeties, while earning his first trip to the Pro Bowl. Young was leading the entire NFL at the Defensive Tackle position in sacks with 9.5, prior to his season ending injury against the NY Giants in Week 13 of the 1998 season. The injury to his leg was so severe it required a metal rod be inserted into his broken leg. Despite this devastating injury late in the ’98 season, he came back fully recovered for the ’99 season, recording over 70 tackles, 11 sacks and a safety, which earned him his second Pro Bowl appearance. He also received the NFL Comeback Player of the Year Award for his fantastic play that same season. Bryant Young had 89.5 sacks in his 14-year career with the 49ers, ranking him 6th Al-Time in the NFL in career sacks for a defensive tackle. Bryant and his wife Kristen have five children; the Young’s always emphasized to their children how important it is to give rather than receive. In addition to coaching with the Falcons, Bryant is also a Special Ambassador for the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation, inspired by his teenage son Colby, who waged a two-year courageous battle with cancer before his untimely death in 2016. Young says, “It puts things in perspective. We think it’s hard out here, (on the gridiron). We strain and we grind, physically, to live another day. But to see firsthand, and experience somebody’s tough battle through a disease, it lets you know life is precious…This is just football.”

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