Sep 15, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders cornerback Phillip Adams (28) and free safety Usama Young (26) combine for the sack against Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Chad Henne (7) during the fourth quarter at Coliseum. The Oakland Raiders defeated the Jacksonville Jaguars 19-9. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Oakland Raiders: Player Profiles: Safety-Usama Young and Safety-Brandian Ross




Sep 15, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Ace Sanders (18) catches the ball between Oakland Raiders middle linebacker Nick Roach (53) and free safety Usama Young (26) during the fourth quarter at Coliseum. The Oakland Raiders defeated the Jacksonville Jaguars 19-9. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports


Normally, I would be writing only one profile to cover the next man up in the Safety rotation for the Oakland Raiders, but the loss of strong safety Tyvon Branch has created opportunities for both Usama Young and Brandian Ross.  In essence, with Branch down, two others must take his place.  That says a lot about what Branch was able to accomplish in the last two games.  However, Young and Ross stepped in after Branch suffered a significant injury to his fibula (fractured) in the first quarter of the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, and they both played very well.  As such, they will be called upon to fill in along side FS-Charles Woodson and DB-Tracy Porter.


Sep 15, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders safety Usama Young (26) celebrates after a tackle against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Coliseum. The Raiders defeated the Jaguars 19-9. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Usama Young was born in 1985 in Washington, DC.  He attended High School in Largo, Maryland, and then he attended college at Kent State.  In the last three decades, he was one of the top defensive prospects to emerge from Kent State.  He was drafted in the 3rd Round of the 2007 NFL Draft by the New Orleans Saints, and he remained with the team through 2010.  He was released by the Saints in 2011, and he signed with the Cleveland Browns where he remained through 2012.  On April 2, 2013, he was released by the Browns, and just 7 days later he was signed by the Oakland Raiders.  Throughout his career, Young has played in 83 games totaling 233 combined tackles (183 solo), 4 sacks, 3 fumble recoveries, and 7 interceptions.

It is true that some people are just destined to do certain things in their life.  Young is a player who you can say was destined to play defense and make tackles.  Why you ask?  Well, a funny thing happened when he was 12 years old and playing in a local Pee Wee Football game.  A rabid dog ran onto the field in the middle of the game, and it began to terrorize the young players, coaches, and parents standing along the sidelines.  Instead of running away, Young tackled the dog, used the chain from the down markers to tie and subdue the dog, and he successfully restored order to the game.  I’d say his destiny was laid out.

Aug 29, 2013; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks quarterback Tarvaris Jackson (7) passes the ball while being covered by Oakland Raiders cornerback Brandian Ross (29) during the 1st half at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

Brandian Ross was born in 1989 in Richmond, VA.  He attended High School at Meadowbrook, and then he attended college at Youngstown State University.  Initially, Ross played safety for the first three seasons in college before being switched to defensive back.  Ross was an undrafted free agent coming out of college in 2011.  He was signed to the Green Bay Packers and eventually made it onto their practice squad for the 2011 season.  In 2012, Ross was released by the Packers, and he was signed to the Oakland Raiders 53-man roster on September 19, of 2012.  He is a flexible players who can be used as a safety or nickel corner.  In his professional career, Ross has played in 16 games and he has recorded 24 tackles (21 solo) and 1 sack.  Ross had flourished on the Raiders Special Teams, making plays when the Raiders needed it most in 2012.  Now he will be called upon to help fill in for the injured Branch.


Sep 15, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders safety Usama Young (94) and linebacker Kevin Burnett (94) celebrate after a tackle against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Coliseum. The Raiders defeated the Jaguars 19-9. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Both Young and Ross are high energy players who will be able to assist the Raiders in the secondary.  With the tutelage of Charles Woodson, these players should improve their performance greatly.  Already, Young has totaled 4 tackles and 1.5 sacks, and Ross has totaled 4 tackles and 1 sack in their first big roles at strong safety.  Now that they will be exclusively used in defensive packages, their totals should seriously increase.  The big test will be coming on Monday night against arguably one of the best quarterback’s to ever play the game, Peyton Manning, and his arsenal of wide receivers (Demaryius Thomas, Wes Welker, Eric Decker, and Trindon Holliday), tight end Julius Thomas, and revamped running back Knowshon Moreno.  It will be a difficult task, but I believe it is a task both of these players are ready for.

Dick's Sporting Goods presents "Hell Week":

Tags: Brandian Ross Charles Woodson Cleveland Browns Denver Broncos Green Bay Packers New Orleans Saints Oakland Raiders Peyton Manning Usama Young

  • Bob

    Good write up. Any news on the Houston contract extension?

  • Shane Schilperoort

    None yet, other than the fact that McKenzie has been meeting with Houston’s agent. The proposal is for a very long-term contract. This would be huge to get done before free agency begins.

  • Shane Schilperoort

    Also, McKenzie is trying to lock-down Veldheer too. Basically, he wants to extend Houston and Veldheer before they can hit any type of free agent market. Both of their Rookie Contracts expire. He’s trying to do the same with McFadden. Reece and Janikowski were two he really wanted to lock in going forward, and now he’s working on the others. McKenzie says they’ll have money to ink some high dollar players in 2014. Can’t wait to see who we’ll get?

  • Bob

    Yup. Ink the good performers long term and see how much they have to work with next year. Very smart. Probably better off not to back load all the contracts too.

  • Phil Mokate

    Love both these guys and looking for extensions on Houston and Cwood. Dmac still has to prove he can stay healthy or gotta move on.6 years to many to prove worth. I want to see Latavius brings and hopefully not more of the same as now? Who do you think of the starters they let go and who would you like to see brought in? Do an article on possible match ups that hit FA and the draft pics you like for next year?

  • Mark from Section 122

    I’m very much looking forward to watching these young fellows play and see if either emerges as the heir apparent of Branch. We really need a great defensive back to supplement Mr. Woodson and again, get back some of that Silver and Black swagger that put fear into the opposing receivers. It would be great if we had a sleeper in one or both of these guys, a future Mike Haynes, Willie Brown, Lester Hayes, Dan Land, Ronnie Lott, Lionel Washington, Eric Turner, Van McElroy, Calvin Branch, Skip Thomas, James Davis, James Trapp, Namdi Asomugha and the other Woodson, Rod to name a few off the top of my head. (I still miss Jarrod Cooper too, as he was a real hustler). The Raiders have a long and storied history involving the great play of our defensive backfield, I really want to see that continue.

  • Shane Schilperoort

    I could do that. So far, I see them keeping a lot if not all the starters. The only one I truly have a question about is Darren McFadden, but if he continues to run like he did against the Jaguars we need to ink him.

  • Shane Schilperoort

    Definitely need to have a good if not great secondary. Especially with the pass happy NFL. So far, we are bringing in the right people. A couple more pieces in 2014, and this could be the best secondary.