KENNEWICK -- Ask anyone in the Tri-Cities Fever organization to describe themselves over these last two seasons, and the word "Family" comes up often.
So maybe it shouldn't come as a surprise when Fever owner Teri Carr got a text message from former receiver Tre Young last week.
"He said 'Mom, I want to come home.' "
Carr told Young he needed to talk to Fever coach Adam Shackleford, who made the move Monday when he signed the 6-foot-4, 210-pounder.
Young had been with the Jacksonville Sharks of the Arena Football League until March 12, when he was waived after spending some time on the Injured Reserve list for turf toe.
Young passed his physical Monday and is likely going to play Thursday when the Fever (3-0) travels to play the Everett Raptors (1-2) in an Indoor Football League game.
To make room for Young, Shackleford had to waive receiver Larrone Moore.
"We felt like we upgraded," said Shackleford. "We felt like we have four talented receivers (including Steven Whitehead, Giovanni Stanley and Edward Berry). There are times where we've been dressing four receivers for games. There's going to be competition at receiver, and that's good."
In the 26-year-old Young, the Fever get a guy who played 15 games last season (including playoffs), catching 81 passes for 943 yards and 24 touchdowns, helping lead Tri-Cities to the IFL championship game, where it lost 37-10 to Sioux Falls.
Young remembers that feeling last July, losing to the Storm.
"You come so close to the title, and then you lose, it's just bitter," he said Monday. "I pretty much had my mind made up that if things didn't work out (in the AFL) I wanted to come back here."
Young said he enjoyed playing for the Fever so much last season.
"I felt like I had known Coach Shack for a long time when I met him last year," Young said. "And actually when I got to meet Miss Teri and everyone else here in the organization, it pretty much felt like I was at home. Now that I'm back, it feels the same way."
Young watched the team practice Monday morning because he hadn't cleared his physical yet (that happened Monday afternoon). But he liked what he saw.
"The guys are focused," he said. "It isn't all about me. I just want to come here and help these guys out any way I can."
Because this may be it for Young, who felt he gave it his best with the Sharks.
"I felt I put my best foot forward," he said. "But then I suffered a turf toe injury. The team had to get its numbers down. It's tough, because I was actually almost going to be a starter there. Unfortunately I got hurt."
Still, it gave Young the confidence that he felt he could play with anyone.
"For a football player, there should be a mentality that you want to move up the ladder," Young said. "This year for me, I feel I can make an NFL roster. But if I wasn't going to be able to move up, well .... I have a son back home. I told myself that if the NFL wasn't going to work out, then I pretty much need to move on."
So he'll take a chance with the Fever again, hoping to get another title shot, and maybe a chance at the NFL.
"I know Coach has the players in place," said Young. "Championships are all that should matter. Anything less than a championship won't do."