- Number: 8
- Position: Quarterback
Roster Years: 1980-1983
Hometown: Greenwich, CT
Jon Steven "Steve" Young (born October 11, 1961) is a former American college and professional football player who was a quarterback in the National Football League (NFL) for fourteen seasons during the 1980s and 1990s. Young played college football for Brigham Young University, and played professionally for the Los Angeles Express of the United States Football League, and the NFL's Tampa Bay Buccaneers and San Francisco 49ers. Young was named the Most Valuable Player of the NFL in 1992 and 1994, and the MVP of Super Bowl XXIX. He is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame and the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He ranks third in NFL history in career passer rating among NFL quarterbacks who have thrown at least 1,500 passing attempts (96.8). Young also won a record six NFL passing titles.
Young was born in Salt Lake City, Utah. He attended Greenwich High School in Greenwich, Connecticut. He earned 1978 All-FCIAC West Division First Team honors in his junior year, his first year starting at quarterback for the Cardinals. In 1979, he once again earned All-FCIAC West Division First Team honors, along with CIAC All-State honors, rushing for 13 touchdowns. In two seasons, he ran the ball 267 times for 1,928 yards. In the option offense run by Greenwich, passing was always the second option; he completed only 41 percent of his throws for 1,220 yards. During his senior year he was co-captain of the football, basketball and baseball teams. In basketball, he averaged 15 points a game. In baseball, he hit .384 and played center field when he wasn't pitching. He was 5-1 and threw a 3-0 no-hitter against New Canaan High School.
Because Young was such a great runner, he was heavily recruited by North Carolina, who wanted him to play quarterback in the option offense the Tar Heels were using at the time. However, Young ultimately decided to attend Brigham Young University. Initially, he struggled at throwing the ball, and BYU's coaching staff considered switching him to defensive back because of his athleticism. However, he worked hard to improve his passing skills and eventually succeeded record-setting Jim McMahon as the Cougars' starting QB. Young's senior season (1983) was spectacular. He passed for 3,902 yards and 33 touchdowns in the regular season, and his 71.3% completion percentage set an NCAA single-season record. He also added 544 yards rushing. With Young at quarterback, BYU set an NCAA record by averaging 584.2 yards of total offense per game, with 370.5 of those yards coming from Young's passing and rushing. The Cougars finished the year with an impressive 11–1 record; Young was named First Team All-American by several news organizations and received theNational Quaterback Davey O'Brien Award, which recognizes the nation's best collegiate quarterback each year. He also finished second in voting for the Heisman Trophy, behind Nebraska running back Mike Rozier. Young capped his college career by scoring the game-winning touchdown (he caught a halfback pass) in BYU's 21–17 victory over Missouri in the 1983 Holiday Bowl.
Young finished his college career with 592 pass completions for 7,733 yards and 56 touchdowns, along with 1,048 rushing yards and 18 touchdowns on the ground. He was enshrined in the College Football Hall of Fame in 2001.