Honors & Awards
- NCAA Today's Top Six Award (1990)
- Two-Time All-American (UPI, Kodak/AFCA, Walter Camp)
- Two-Time CoSIDA Academic All-American (1988, 1989)
- NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship (1990)
- Lombardi Award Semifinalist (1989)
- Two-Time First-Team All-Big Eight (1988, 1989)
- Second-Team All-Big Eight (1987)
- Nebraska Football Hall of Fame (2000)
Jake Young was a two-time All-American on the field and a two-time GTE/CoSIDA Academic All-American for Coach Tom Osborne and the Huskers, earning four letters from 1986 to 1989. He graduated with a degree in finance in 1989. He was the third Husker center in the Tom Osborne-era to be a two-time first-team All-American, joining Rik Bonness (1974-75) and Dave Rimington (1981-82). A three-year starter for offensive line coach Milt Tenopir, Young assisted Nebraska to top three national rankings in rushing all four years of his career, and to NCAA rushing titles in 1988 and 1989.
Young became the ninth Nebraska center to earn All-America honors, receiving the accolades from both the Associated Press and the Football Writers, while earning All-Big Eight honors from the AP and the league coaches. Young also received the Lee Jeans Academic All-Conference honors and became a two-time CoSIDA Academic-All-District selection. He anchored an offensive line that powered Nebraska to its fifth NCAA rushing crown of the 1980s at 382.3 yards per game. Young also helped I-back Ken Clark to the third-best season ever by a Husker runner with 1,497 yards. Young and his linemates helped Nebraska rank fifth nationally in scoring offense (39.5 ppg) and seventh in total offense (477.9 ypg).
Young suffered a knee strain in practice three days before the season opener and was forced to miss the Aug. 27 Kickoff Classic vs. Texas A&M. He played, but did not start the following week against Utah State. He started every game the rest of the season.
Young moved to center from guard in the spring, but missed nearly all four weeks of spring practice because of a broken leg. He came back full strength in the fall and became the first true sophomore to start on the offensive line in 14 years since Rik Bonness in 1973. Young went on to earn second-team All-Big Eight honors from both wire services. He also claimed a spot on the CoSIDA Academic All-District team. He helped Nebraska rank second in the NCAA in total offense (489 ypg), third in rushing (373.5 ypg) and third in scoring (38.5 ppg).
Recruited out of Robert E. Lee High School in Midland, Texas, Young began practicing with the varsity during his first week on campus in August, and played guard for the varsity and freshman teams. He saw enough playing time with the varsity to become the first true freshman to earn a letter on the offensive line since freshman eligibility was restored in 1972.
An all-state offensive guard for Coach Jack Tayrien, Young helped lead his team to a 10-3 record and the quarterfinals of the Class 5A playoffs in 1985. Midland Lee was the same high school that produced Husker All-America tight end Junior Miller.
The son of Jake Sr. and Barbara Young, Jake was born March 22, 1968 in El Paso, Texas. He has one sister, Erin. Jake was killed in a bomb attack that took the lives of nearly 200 people on Oct. 12, 2002. He was competing in a final rugby tournament with his Hong Kong Football Club teammates prior to moving back to Kansas City after working for a law firm, Clifford Chance in Hong Kong for two years. Young had worked for two Kansas City law firms from 1993 to 2000 following his graduation from UNL law school in 1994. He was a finance major at Nebraska and earned his undergraduate degree in 1989 He was a member of the Missouri and New York bars and practiced international law. He also served on the board of directors of the UNL Alumni Association. Young and his wife, Laura, had one son, Wilson.
The Jake Young Memorial Endowed Scholarship was created in his honor and is awarded each year to a varsity football student-athlete that demonstrates a high level of athletic and academic achievement, along with effective leadership skills.