It came down to a signing day decision for DE Willie Young from Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. With a laundry list of schools from which to choose, the speedy senior narrowed his choices to NC State and Florida when he sat down for a signing ceremony at his high school. When all was said and done, Young cast his lot with the Pack and became the latest in an ever-growing collection of national-caliber prospects to ink with NC State.
Coming off a senior season that saw him collect 65 tackles, 22 tackles for loss and 12 sacks, Young closed out his senior year by working diligently in the classroom in the hopes of achieving a qualifying SAT score. He fell just short, however, and at the request of the Wolfpack coaching staff- enrolled this past week at Hargrave Military Academy.
After reviewing film and seeing Young in person, it didn't take long for Hargrave head coach Robert Prunty to become a firm believer in his new defensive end's potential for stardom, not to mention a super personality to boot.
"Willie is very charismatic and has a great personality," said Prunty. "He's never met a stranger.
"He's going to be one of the best players to come here. He's one of those guys that you can tell is going to be one of those NFL guys once he puts weight on. You know, when you look at him you just think he's a really slim guy but when you see him come off the edge- he's tough."
Having coached numerous, talented DE's during his coaching career, Prunty had high praise for Young when comparing him to past players.
"He's the fastest. I can tell you that," said Prunty. "Willie has the quickest step of any of them."
At 6-5, 205 pounds, Young was dominate on the high school level- culminating in being named the defensive MVP at the Florida-Louisiana all-star game held earlier this year. In the contest Young collected nearly a half dozen tackles, two sacks, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. However, to compete on the division one level, Young will have to add considerable bulk- a fact that shouldn't bee too difficult according to Prunty.
"He'll gain wait easy because he has the frame to do it," said Prunty. "He wouldn't have had every school in the nation recruiting him if he couldn't play. But you know, NC State does a great job of recruiting so they know what they're getting. Willie Young is a big-time football player."
Young is hopeful of leaving Hargrave and joining the NC State program in time for bowl practices should NC State be bowl eligible this season.