Wisconsin's Young Decides He's a Hawkeye

On a day when Iowa finished up its largest weekend of official visitors for the 2015 class, the program picked up a verbal commitment from Wisconsin running back Toren Young on Sunday. The high school junior spoke with HI about his choice and what might happen if the Badgers came in with a scholarship offer down the road.

When you commit to the enemy, eyebrows will be raised. It's assumed that you'll eventually come around.

Toren Young insists he's lucid. His decision is final.

The Monona Grove (WI) High running back committed to Iowa Sunday night, a day after receiving a Hawkeye scholarship offer. He grew up less than 10 miles from the Wisconsin campus.

"Nobody has to worry about me flipping to Wisconsin," the 5-foot-11 1/2, 215-pound junior said. "I committed to Iowa. As long as the coaching staff is the same and I still have that strong relationship, I'm here to stay."

Young said that he hasn't had much contact with the Badger coaches. He said he is fond of Thomas Brown, their running backs coach, but has built a stronger relationship with his Iowa counterpart, Chris White.

"(The Badgers) had other targets out there that they had to get," Young said. "Iowa seemed like a fit for me. So, that's home."

Wisconsin received a verbal commitment from North Carolina junior running back Antonio Williams in December. Young became the Hawkeyes second pledge in the '16 Class, joining fellow Badger State resident, Nate Stanley, a quarterback from Menomonie.

"I personally don't know him but I had a chance to watch his film and he's a great player," Young said.

The Hawkeyes ramped up their pursuit of Young this fall. They played host to him at their game against Wisconsin in November and welcomed him back in town last week for their elite junior day.

"Iowa was a place that I felt like I was at home right away. The game-day atmosphere and then them playing my home town team, the Badgers, there was no better game-day experience. It felt like I had good vibes with all the coaches with it being the first time meeting them," he said.

"Going back there for the junior day, it just kept on building from there. The relationship I have with the coaches, being able to call the coaches and talk about other things other than football. If I was having a rough day outside of football, I was able to call the coaches and they care. They were really genuine during the recruiting."

Young said he spoke mostly with White and recruiting coordinator Seth Wallace. They showed him right away that his running style suits their system.

"I feel like it's one of the best matches out there for me at the next level," he said. "They're a hard-nosed, blue-collar team. They like to run in between the tackles. They like to shove it right down teams' throats and that's my style of running. I feel like I'm a powerful runner and I'm able to put moves on, too."

Young rushed for 1,223 yards and 15 touchdowns on 194 carries this fall after rolling up 1,134 and 11 on 173 totes as a sophomore. Scout.com Analyst Allen Trieu shared his thoughts on the back.

Young, who said he would be back in Iowa City to watch spring practice, will turn his attention to another task with college decision out of the way.

"Now that I'm officially part of this Iowa Hawkeye football team, I'm definitely going to help recruit and encourage guys to come to Iowa," he said. "I want to teach them what Iowa football is all about."

Young said that he would like to major in something in athletics when he gets to college. He's considering sports medicine or sports management.

With his mind wrapped around playing for Iowa, Young allowed his thoughts to wander Sunday night. He pictured returning to Wisconsin's Camp Randall Stadium as an opposing player.

"It will be great. Growing up, you always want to play for your hometown team and be a hero. But I also think it would be cool to be playing for another team and then coming home and being able to play in front of family, friends, teachers and everybody you've been around. I think it's a good thing to get away from home," he said.

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