In His Own Words: Kevin Young

Sometimes you don't know what to think in recruiting. Unless you hear it from the recruit themselves you just don't know. Well, the saga of defensive end and current Husker commit Kevin Young has brought those types of feelings. But rather than tell everyone what's going on, in his own words, Young gives us the skinny on all the drama surrounding his recruiting of late. Kevin tells you himself.

Per an e-mail sent by Young and his family to Regional Recruiting Analyst Baron Flenory, Young himself gives you the lowdown on his recruiting over the last few days:

"Well, Coach (Nebraska Defensive Ends Coach) John Papuchis showed up at my house around 2:30pm on Friday. That dude is straight up cool! He will be my position coach and I think his time at KU and LSU will do wonders for my development. In fact, Coach Papuchis has ties to the Kansas City area. His wife and her family are from this area and still live in Kansas City. Anyhow, we sat down with my mom & brother and discussed academics, the city of Lincoln, culture in Lincoln, the Nebraska football tradition, and so many other things. My mom really likes this guy. She trusts his word and feels a lot better about me going up there to Lincoln. We also discussed getting my mom & dad back up there in a couple weeks for Bowl practices. The Coaches also want to show my mom around town and the University.

"Coach Carl Pelini (Defensive Coord.) had a flight delay arriving into Kansas City. He made it out to my house around 4:00pm. He too was able to meet my mother and brother. We were all pleasantly surprised how down to earth and laid back Coach Pelini was. I was expecting him to be like his brother, Coach Bo Pelini. He also put my mom's mind at ease with his straight forward honesty on so many topics. Coach Pelini told lots of stories and jokes while in my front room and at dinner. Another side note about Coach Pelini are his ties to Kansas City. Back in the late 90's Coach was a head coach in the Kansas City area. He also was an assistant not too far from my house. Coach Pelini expressed how much he missed and enjoyed his time in Kansas City. We reminisced quite a bit about Kansas City. I thought that was pretty neat to have two Nebraska Coach's with ties to my hometown.

"Speaking of dinner, my parents invited the coaches out for some good ol' fashioned Kansas City Barbecue. They accepted and we proceeded over to one of KC's best BBQ restaurants called Oklahoma Joe's BBQ. We walked in and the smell was overwhelming. The Coaches couldn't stop smiling. I knew they were in for a treat, because Oklahoma Joe's has always been one of my favorite restaurants. My dad told the manager who they were and to treat them to the best BBQ they had. We all sat down and had a feast. The Coaches were commenting on how good the food was. We talked about so many stories with former players and games that the Coaches had been involved with. Sitting there and hearing these stories was one of the highlights of the visit.

"Also, when the Coaches described the lifestyle surrounding Nebraska Football, it all became so much clearer to us. I have a greater appreciation for the past and future of the program. I thought I knew a lot about Nebraska Football. But in reality, I had no idea. My understanding of the Nebraska program has grown so much. I now know the demands that will be placed upon me by an entire State and from fans around the country. The Coaches have tried to prepare me for what is about to occur. I'm so excited and counting down the days to arriving on campus. Anyhow, we continued to eat and have a good time.

"Another interesting thing occurred while in the BBQ restaurant. Coach Papuchis saw one of his former players from LSU. That player was Rudy Niswanger, a center for the Kansas City Chiefs. Rudy was shocked to see Coach Papuchis there. Coach Papuchis also told us some stories about the coaches' former players on the current Chiefs roster from LSU. They are Dewayne Bowe and Glenn Dorsey. Lots of good laughs and stories about those guys. The coaching staff has so much experience developing players into All-league, All-American and future NFL players. This is undoubtedly one of the reasons why I chose Nebraska. These guys don't just talk. The Nebraska Coaches actually have the past experiences to back up that talk. By the time we were done eating, the coaches were stuffed. We proceeded to head back to the house.

"The coaches came back inside and I was able to get any final questions answered. The coaches expressed how important it was for them to come out for this visit. I still can't believe that the coaches would take valuable time out of their day to come visit. We talked about how fortunate I am to arrive on campus for winter work outs and Spring ball. The coaches not once promised me playing time, but said that I had a very good chance of cracking the four man rotation. We talked about how good the competition will be amongst the defensive line at NU. If I have to redshirt, that's cool. But, I told the coaches that my mind-set is to come in and compete for a spot right away. After spending some quality time with Piere Allen, Zack Potter, Ndamukong Suh, Blake Lawrence and a few other guys on my official visit to Nebraska, they all told me not to be afraid of competition. I was impressed with how those guys embarrassed me and didn't see me as a player coming after anyone's job. That left a lasting impression with me.

"As the coaches proceeded to leave and head home, my mother hugged them and expressed her trust that she was placing in them. Again, they invited her to come back up and take one last visit. She accepted. While there I will officially enroll and pick out classes with Dennis Leblanc, the Senior Associate Athletic Director at NU. That guy is one of the best, and I always enjoy visiting with him, too. Right now I'm deciding between Construction Management or a business degree. My ultimate goals are to stay involved with athletics in some aspect, but I want to have a solid back-up plan in place. We all shook hands and the coaches told me to be ready. They were so excited and plan on having me on campus January 12th.

"During the visit, it was confirmed that Coach Bo Pelini will be arriving to my house within the next two weeks for another in-home visit. I was somewhat surprised to hear that, but look forward to visiting with Coach soon. Maybe we can take Coach to a good BBQ restaurant also. We'll see.

"Another thing: I felt horrible letting Coach Bowen down last night. I just wanted to take the visit as a favor to him. I don't think they could have changed my mind. I really feel bad about that. I'm starting to see it's all a big business right now. I just don't want to burn any bridges with Coach Bowen or Coach Mangino, especially with coaching opportunities in the future.

"I know I looked really bad throughout this entire ordeal. I should have never committed until I took my officials. I am a man of my word. This was just so hard to do. Also, I usually let my dad speak for me because I don't feel comfortable talking to the media. I might not say the right thing or sound stupid. I'm working on that and will get better. I seem to write my thoughts better than talking on the phone."

Our thanks to Kevin for putting his thoughts down on paper for everyone to read:

A note on Young: He was selected to be a member of the 2008 Offense-Defense All Star Bowl Game, so congratulations to him on receiving that honor.


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