Nearly lost in the commotion surrounding the signing day decision of all-everything DT DeMario Pressley was the fact NC State landed one of Florida's top DE prospects just hours prior to Pressley's announcement. Willie Young admits that he didn't know who he was going to select, even minutes before sitting down in a chair at a school gathering at Palm Beach Gardens (Fla) High School. However, with the rigors of recruiting now a faded memory, Young says that there's no place he'd rather play than NC State.
"You know, when I sat down to sign that paper, it's hard to be 100% about anything but I felt like I needed to take every available second to figure out where I wanted to go," Young said. "It wasn't that there was anything wrong with the other schools I was looking at because they were all good. But I just loved everything about State."
"Everyone there, the coaches, the players, they just all had a lot of love for me. I mean, when I took my visits, some of the players from other teams would be tight but at NC State, it was the whole team. I looked at that like, when we get on the field, we'll be like one person out there- not eleven individuals."
With recruiting behind him, Young found himself a little bored while biding the time until he would arrive at NC State. To fill the void he decided to go out for track. In fact, it was his first attempt at the sport but he felt it would help keep him in shape for the upcoming season. What he didn't plan on was becoming an instant contributor.
"I messed around and missed the first half of the season," said Young. "But the coach stayed on me and my first meet, I took first place in the high jump. In the last meet I was in, I placed third but I scratched a couple of times and that hurt me. If I can do well in this next meet then I'll qualify for the state (championships)."
Currently at 6-5, 206 pounds, Young told StateFans that he's also increased his workout routine in preparation for the rigors of college football. Perhaps just as important is the fact he has developed quite a mature outlook on his future.
"I'm looking at it that I want to come up there and start," said Young. "That's just how I am though. However, I know I'm prepared mentally but I don't know if my body is ready for it. My ideal situation would be to come in on a third and long and just pin my ears back and go after the QB because that's what I want to do. And then when my body is ready, I want to get in there on the running plays too. But really, I'm not even worried about it. I feel like the best man needs to be out there. I know I want to be lined up against the best man on the other side of the ball because when I get cranked up- watch out."
With a promising college career ahead, Young knows he must also get his academic house in order and has been working hard to achieve a qualifying test score.
"I just took the ACT and I feel real good about it," said Young. "I haven't got my results back yet but, to be honest, I'm not really worried because I know I'm going to get it."
Young plans to arrive in Raleigh sometime in July. He was rated a three-star prospect and the No. 35 DE in the nation by TheInsiders.com.