With over 30 offers from elite college football programs across the country, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., offensive lineman Sam Young is unquestionably one of the top overall prospects in the nation for the recruiting class of 2006. As such, the St. Thomas Aquinas star spends his time enjoying his high school days, rather than speaking with the media. On Sunday, he did take the time to talk to GoBlueWolverine.com about a couple of new offers, and a trip he will be taking this weekend.
"The latest offers are from Colorado and Wisconsin," he said. "As with all the schools that have offered, I am very interested in these two and will look at them closely. My dad and I will be going up to Michigan this weekend to check out the campus for a day. My dad has a friend up there so we'll be spending most of the time visiting him."
Speculation has been rampant regarding where the 6-foot-8, 280-pound Young will attend college. Some have claimed it is down to Michigan and Miami, while others have stated Florida is the team to beat. Young said he is amused by all the fuss. "My dad checks the sites every once in a while," he said. "He tells me what people are saying, and we get a laugh. I'm haven't narrowed things down, and nobody leads or has been dropped. I have to sit down with my dad and look closely at all the schools. I hope to start getting a better idea sometime in the summer."
Young did attend Junior Days at Duke and Florida as well as making a trek out west to visit Stanford. However, he said he wouldn't be attending any camps this summer. "I'm mainly going to work out with my team and get ready for the season," he said. "We start practice around the first or second of August, and our first game is around August 20."
Larry Blustein of FloridaKids.us recently evaluated Young, and published this report:
STRENGTHS: As a football player, the first thing you see is how athletic he can be. His ability to grasp schemes, use his body in ways that others with his size simply cannot and lead by example are qualities that every college wants to wrap themselves around.
Because he is such a student – in the classroom and on the field – there are very few things that Young doesn't pick up and apply.
As a football player, he has plenty of room to grow. But if you watch him on a series of drives, you will immediately get what the hype has always been about. He is always double teamed or trapped by defenses trying to get an edge, but to his credit and those around him, if you spend too much time worrying about him, the other linemen the Raiders have will open holes and protect equally as well.
In a drive that I remember the most, perhaps one that has defined his career so far, Young paved the way for the running game to click and enable St. Thomas to beat rival Ely in Pompano Beach.
On the first play, Young stood the defensive tackle straight up and drove him four yards off the ball away from the direction of the play. While his block may not have sprung the runner, it showed me that he will decoy block and sustain that block until the whistle blows.
The second play was a short pass play, and that's where his feet, upper body strength and quickness came into play as the rush end had no chance to get near the quarterback. He stood straight up and used his technique to his advantage.
The third play saw Young pull out and start to get up field as he led the way for a 22-yard run. On that play he fought off an initial block and then made contact with three other defenders during the course of the run. That was, for no other words, the play that made many believers of his abilities and skill level.
WHAT HE NEEDS TO WORK ON: No matter what college he attends, strength will be a factor. While he has good size and is tremendously athletic, there is plenty of room to add more strength. He works out nearly every day, and when he gets to the next level, he will only get stronger.
The other thing that I see is Young needing to get mentally tougher and develop a mean streak on the football field during the game. He's a nice kid who is dominating at this level, but down the line, there will be those gifted 6-5, 320-pounders who can run, are very strong and agile, and who are out to beat you up. He needs to rise to the occasion and be meaner than the opposition!
OVERALL: Very seldom to see a young lineman who you predict stardom for so early. This is a position that maturity, experience and knowledge play a big part in the overall growing process. But with Sam Young, you get the feeling that he will rise to the occasion wherever he lands!
The big man is also a standout on the classroom, and will be taking a very close look at the academic situation at each school. He reports a 3.4 grade-point-average and an 1830 on the new SAT. He said he wants to take all of his visits before deciding.