WHO: Kevin Young – Olathe HS ( Olathe , KS ) is a reported 6 foot, 5 inches tall and weighs 225 pounds. Young runs a reported 4.7/40
WHAT: Young is a two-way player, but all his current offers right now and the interest he's getting, is for the defensive side of the ball. Primarily a speed-rusher at the prep-level, Young considers his trademarks the aggressive style which he utilizes and his ability to beat tackles off the line. "They are either too slow getting up or just getting around to face me that my speed really gives them problems," he said.
As a junior Young notched over 100 tackles, including 12 sacks. He also had five passes deflected.
WHY: It's no secret that Nebraska is now moving into an entirely different direction with its defensive ends. Soon, the days of the nearly 300 lbs. run-stopping bookend will be history, replaced with the likes of lean-speed-rushing-aggressive types, similar to incoming freshman Cameron Meredith and Josh Williams, both tipping the scales at under 240 lbs. Young fits that mold as well, specializing in getting to the QB, but he's noted for his motor and backside pursuit.
Senior-to-be Barry Turner fit that mold perfectly his freshman year, his size very similar to that of Williams and Meredith. That along with his lightning-quick moves off the snap were a big reason why he tied for the lead amongst freshman in the country that year, setting a freshman school record with six sacks on the season.
Due to the previous philosophy regarding the size and responsibility of defensive ends, Turner had gained considerable weight, going from his freshman weight of approx. 230 pounds to just under 280 lbs. by the end of last season. He has since lost some of that weight, coming in at around 260 pounds.
What Young represents, along with many of the younger ends on the team as well as those coming in this Summer or Fall, is a shift from a Big Ten philosophy to the Bo Pelini philosophy of getting consistent pressure in the backfield.
That's good news to Young. "Hey, it's what every defensive end wants to do. We just want to get to the quarterback or just cause a lot of disruptions in the backfield," he said.
Nebraska currently has 10 players listed at the defensive end position, not including the two incoming freshmen. However, Nebraska will lose three defensive ends with starting experience in Turner, Zach Potter and Clayton Sievers.
THE TEAMS: Young's name has literally exploded over the last month and a half, his first offer coming from Kansas State, with offers adding to that from Army, Illinois, Iowa State, SMU and Air Force. Young doesn't currently hold an offer from the Huskers, but he said he's got a good feeling from the big red. "Coach (Shawn) Watson said that they want to get me up there for their one-day camp June 12th, and he said they are going to give me the full tour of the place and I'll talk to the defensive line coach, too," he said.
ON NEBRASKA :"I know it's a big-time program with great facilities. They have a really good program and I think they are going to do well with their new head coach."
CURRENT FAVORITES: "I don't have any favorites right now. I plan on visiting everyone who has offered me and try and see other teams showing interest this Summer."
TIMEFRAME: "I want to make my decision before school starts. I figure that once I take all these visits, I'll he able to narrow it down and figure out who my school will be."
WHERE'S NEBRAKA: "They are definitely a team I am considering. I just have to get up there, see what it's like, see if they offer me, of course and just try and get to know the coaches," he said. "I'm going to be spending most of my time in college with those coaches, so it's important that I get a good feel for them and just how they are."
PREFERRED COACHING STYLE: "I like yellers, because if they are good coaches and are trying to help you get better, I think it's good to get on someone when they aren't doing things right," he said. "If they aren't yelling, I don't know, it's like they might not even care."
THE SKINNY: Young currently ranks amongst the top 30 defensive ends in the country, and the attention he's gotten just over this last month illustrates that the word is getting out about this Kansas prep standout. Kansas and Missouri haven't offered as of yet, but Young said that he was getting a good feeling from both schools, and while Young says he's wide open, an offer from KU could be significant.
We'll bring you an update with Young following his one-day camp at Nebraska to see just where the Huskers stand with him.