Michael Young set out in the recruiting process to find a perfect fit.
Choosing a college destination based on football alone wouldn’t do. Young, a three-star wide receiver from Destrehan, La., needed a place that would set him up well academically. He also wanted a comfortable feeling, a home away from home.
Turns out a June trip to Northern Indiana revealed that spot.
Young made his first visit to Notre Dame for Irish Invasion. It won’t be his last.
Young announced today a verbal pledge to the Irish, choosing them over Oregon and Texas A&M.
“It was everything,” Young said. “Academics are perfect. It’s not a four-year degree. It’s a 40-year deal. Notre Dame has so many connections just worldwide. You wanna be a part of that and an academics program where you can study abroad, summer school, they give you the option to do that and expand your knowledge.
“Then football-wise, talking with coach (Mike) Denbrock and coach (Autry) Denson, they want me bad. They want me very bad. They feel like it’s a place I’ll definitely fit.”
Arizona, Arizona State, Arkansas, Minnesota, Memphis, Missouri, Vanderbilt and Virginia were also among Young’s scholarship offers.
Young puts Notre Dame at 17 commitments total. He’s the second wide receiver, joining three-star prospect Jordan Pouncey. Seven of those commitments have come since Irish Invasion weekend started with five of those prospects having visited that weekend.
Being in South Bend helped officially turn the tide for Young, who nearly committed to Oregon during an unofficial visit there for its spring game.
“Honestly, it confirmed everything,” Young said. “At first I thought Notre Dame was this big school, prestigious. I was like, ‘Man, this campus is about to be crazy. They’re gonna have kids flying around doing this and that.’ Then I got there and they told me how many students they have and I saw the campus and it was very small. It’s basically a campus where everybody knows everybody. You can definitely interact with people and stuff like that.”
During that trip, Young connected with the coaching staff in person and many fellow prospects.
Conversations with head coach Brian Kelly and wide receivers coach Mike Denbrock helped reveal how Young could fit into the offense. Denbrock sees the 5-foot-11, 178-pound prospect as a future slot receiver with some added versatility.
“Talking to coach Denbrock, it’s not so much a slot guy,” Young said. “They want me for the slot position and I fit there. I’m not a big 6-foot or over guy. I’m 5-10 or 5-11. Just talking to him, that’s not his plan. His plan is to have me in the slot but be able to use me outside. He always makes the comparison of me to Will (Fuller). That’s how he wants to use me. That’s his vision.”
Soaking in the information provided by coaches and support staff during his Irish Invasion visit helped edge Young closer to a decision. Same goes for seeing the campus environment for the first time.
Young made the trek with multiple family members. Turns out everything about Notre Dame was exactly what he’d been trying to find.
Now the next time he returns to campus — likely either for the Michigan State or Stanford games this season — Young will do so as a commitment.
“When I got there, it was quiet,” Young said. “I’m a quiet guy. I was like, ‘Oh man, I could definitely get used to this.’ I think that helped a lot. Being up there with my mom, I definitely think that helped me. Like I said, the coaching staff, the feeling was second to none. They treated me absolutely amazing. Once I saw all that I was like, ‘Yeah, this is the place I need to be.’”