Boise State redshirt freshman tailback Cory Young didn’t bother trying to hide the smile.
Stanford transfer Kelsey Young may be his older brother, but in Idaho it’s Cory who’s better known and more knowledgeable.
“I’m not going to lie,” Cory said Wednesday. “It was a good feeling. I was kind of the big brother for the first time.”
Kelsey, a senior tailback, arrived three weeks ago as a graduate transfer. He earned a computer science degree from Stanford six months earlier than planned so he could play elsewhere immediately and try to find a more significant role.
He contacted the Broncos in January but wasn’t offered a spot until spring after the Broncos lost a pair of tailbacks, Charles Bertoli (decided to pursue other interests) and recruit Raymond Sheard (arrest).
Kelsey spoke to his family about possibly transferring after Stanford’s bowl game. He was the Cardinal’s second-leading rusher last season with 331 yards and has played wide receiver, too.
“Ultimately, we decided it would be best if I decided to find somewhere to exploit my last year of eligibility,” Kelsey said.
Kelsey’s announcement that he would finish his career at Boise State came within a couple weeks of his younger brother’s breakout performance in the Spring Game.
Cory, who grew up known as “Kelsey’s younger brother,” didn’t mind adding a little sibling rivalry to the tailback competition.
“It’s football. It could have been another recruit coming in,” Cory said. “Yeah, it’s my brother, but it’s the same competition.”
Cory led the Broncos with 11 carries for 68 yards and a touchdown in that scrimmage. After redshirting last fall, it was his chance to show everyone what he could do.
When fall camp opens Aug. 6, the Youngs will compete for carries with sophomore frontrunner Jeremy McNichols (314 yards from scrimmage last season), senior Jack Fields (31 rushing yards last season), junior Devan Demas (173 rushing yards last season and the fastest player on the team) and sophomore walk-on Ryan Wolpin.
Cory has the least experience in the group but took advantage of additional snaps when McNichols and Fields were injured in the spring.
“I believe my redshirt year helped me a lot,” Cory said. “I grew up a lot. The Spring Game just helped me clarify that I can do this and that I can be a contributor to this team.”
The Youngs are from Norco (Calif.) High. The only time they have been on the same team was when Cory was promoted to the varsity roster for the playoffs as a freshman. But Cory never played.
Kelsey was a senior standout that year — a four-star recruit who rushed for 2,008 yards and 30 touchdowns as a senior.
“It was just cool to see why he was so great and see how he worked in high school and how hard he was working,” Cory said.
Cory topped his brother’s rushing total in 2013, his senior season. He accumulated 2,450 yards and 22 touchdowns to rank as the 12th-leading rusher in California.
And already, Cory has caught Kelsey physically.
“He’s as strong as me, as tall as me, it’s going to be pretty fun,” Kelsey said. “I’m proud of him. It’s going to be an exciting camp for us.”
The past three weeks have been the brothers’ first extended time together since Kelsey went to college in 2011. They weren’t particularly close back then because of the three-year age gap.
Still, Kelsey was Cory’s “inspiration.”
“We’ve grown closer as we both got into college,” Kelsey said. “Going through childhood and everything, three years apart, we were just far enough where we didn’t want to be around each other all the time. ... Now being in kind of the same walk of life, we’re a lot closer.”