The Intriguing List: Donovonn Young

A look at Donovonn Young - one of the more intriguing players Illinois has heading into this spring.

Donovonn Young - Tailback - 6-0, 220, Senior

The Word: In theory, no player looks as physically ready to carry the load as Young, an imposing and stout looking figure. That led most (including this writer) to project the Houston native to have a big junior season under the direction of Bill Cubit. Fumbles by Young and an overall lack of a north-south push by the offense meant more time for Josh Ferguson and transfer rumors cropping around around Young. He stuck around and has one more spring and season to make his mark.

2013: 93 carries for 376 yards and three touchdowns. 12 catches for 43 yards.

Intrigue Level: 7 out of 10. Young is a strange case to study. His average per carry has gone down every year — 5.2 as a freshman to 4.4 and 4.0 last season. He scored six touchdowns that first year. He's only had six since. And all the while, he looks the part and says the right things. I don't blame him for looking around this offseason. His clock is ticking and he knows it. But since he wasn't on track to graduate early (like Houston Bates), his leaving to play elsewhere relevant right away was pretty much out of the question. So now he's back with the Illini. Actually… He never left. If Young can stay motivated and focused, there's plenty of opportunity. Ferguson isn't an every down back and has had injury issues in the past. Young is way more than an insurance policy and I'd be willing to bet him sticking around will end up being a blessing at some point next season.


Illini Inquirer Top Stories