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If Bryce Young ever needs to put on — or maintain — any weight during his rookie NFL season, his latest partnership won't have any issue taking care of him.

The Carolina Panthers franchise quarterback recently finalized a deal with Bojangles, the southern food chain born in the Carolinas known for its chicken and biscuits. And Young, the No. 1 overall pick who got himself to 204 pounds for his combine weigh-in, has already discussed working some Bojangles into his diet.

"I've been able to trust the strength and conditioning staff and the training staff at the organization," Young told CBS Sports by phone Tuesday morning. "This was something that we had talked about having sustainable meals that could help me in my training and still keep me active. Luckily with how the food's prepared and the quality of it, it's able to fall into that category. I'm definitely excited for that."


The partnership with the local legendary chain shows how Young, who's been very particular with what brands he's joining, is integrating himself into the Charlotte community much like he's doing in the locker room.

Veterans with the Panthers praised Young throughout offseason workouts, with wide receiver Adam Thielen saying he was "surprised" by how prepared Young was for the NFL game.

Young said that was a key part of building the trust of the older guys in the locker room early.

"For me I try to do my best to carry myself as a professional in the building. I try to do the things in the locker room and learn from those guys, talking and building relationships," Young said. "At the end of the day, we're all here to do a job and we have a team goal.

"I try to earn respect by showing how I can contribute to that, trying to carry myself as a pro. Know my stuff, try to make sure I show up every day and know what's going on. Know the install that's been put in to show the dedication that I have and that I want to be an asset to the team. So that's an ongoing process and that happens over time."

Panthers rookies report to training camp on July 22 while the veterans report on July 25. Young is among four of the top five picks from April's draft who remains unsigned. As Joel Corry correctly noted last week, sources tell CBS Sports the primary issues involve signing bonus deferrals and offsets.

But another source indicated the deal should get done well in time for the start of camp, where Young would resume taking the first-team reps after getting the QB1 nod during June OTAs.  

"It helped a lot being able to get reps in general, wherever they came. At this level it's important," Young said of getting the No. 1 reps early. "We have a team full of great guys and great competitors, so whatever team I was on, you're still getting great work and great reps. For me it was about the timing of the guys that I was around. Trying to build chemistry and timing through that, and the more reps you have with certain people, the better feel you're going to have on the field with them."

It's easy to see, based off his answers, why his teammates are already gravitating toward him. He has the moxie a pro quarterback must have to succeed, and he feels it's reciprocal in the building.

"I think the biggest thing is being able to be in a room and a building where so much is understood. Knowing what the job comes with and what our goals are, it's understood for everyone to handle their own business and make sure that they're taking accountability. Holding us personally to our own standard.

"For that not to just be a message or something that's typed on a board, but for it to be something that it's understood and everyone really embodies. ... I've been in some great locker rooms in the past, so I've been able to see it. But to get that from everyone in the entire building, from players to coaches and front office staff, I think that's been one of my favorite parts."