For those who don't know me by my real name, this is Pole301 here, and first and foremost I would like to thank the all mighty admin, Mr. Roy Philpott for giving me the opportunity to contribute an article, as well as for maintaining such an excellent site. The future is very bright for CUTIGERS.com. Now…On with the football!
When Tommy Bowden arrived to Tigertown after the forgettable 1998 campaign, it was clear to Tiger faithful everywhere that the offense was going to see some major changes in the future, and if Bowden, and Rich Rodriguez wanted to implement their high octane offense, an influx of talent was needed at the Wide Receiver position. In his first recruiting class, one of 2 receivers brought in was a 6'5 195 lb. gem of a prospect from Jacksonville Florida named Kevin Youngblood.
Hailing from Raines High School, alma mater to several former Tigers, most notably the man whom he is expected to replace, Rod Gardner. His recruiting oracle is a fairly common one, while not popping up on many "guru's" radar until late in the process he was recruited heavily by most many major programs before settling on a final four of Clemson, Alabama, Syracuse and Virginia. Virginia was so enamored with this young man's talent; they called him "the next Herman Moore." Despite this, and heavy courting from the other programs, Rick Stockstill was the man of the hour and snagged another stud from the Jacksonville Area.
When one first glances at Mr. Youngblood, you will realize his 6'5 listing isn't some press guide embellishment, he is every bit of that, and has added serious muscle to his long frame. Combine this with the athleticism to win the State title in long jump, finish 2nd in the high jump, and anchor the state winning 4x100 and 4x400 relay teams, and you are presented with an incredible physical specimen at WR. When watching him play, you can't help but notice his tremendous body control, how while running he has few wasted movements, and when making breaks he stays low to accelerate better while cutting. Efficiency is a drastically underrated, yet crucial attribute to a WR, especially with the height, and length of a Kevin Youngblood. The amount of polish he already has is rare for a receiver with his physical characteristics and even rarer for someone with his experience.
He is already superior to running and jumping to Rod Gardner, and while not yet having the upper-body strength, he may be an even more tenacious blocker, especially downfield. With a quarterback like Woody Dantzler who often ends up running in the secondary, one good block can be the difference between a first down and a touchdown. One additional tidbit about "Kblood" that often gets overlooked was his time on special teams last year. In particular, his job as "gunner" on punt cover was great to watch because he released from the line cleanly, hustled all the way down the field, and usually occupied 2 blockers most of the time. This shows guts, and proved to me, that Kevin Youngblood was a football player.
With Justin Watts and Rod Gardner's graduation, someone will need to step in immediately and catch footballs. Youngblood proved he can make the big play with TD receptions of 49, 38 and 30 yards, but make no mistake about it, Kevin will have to be "the man," early on to help get the offense going. I think he can, and more importantly, I think he will.
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Player Profile- Kevin Youngblood
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