Finding a talented offensive lineman is one thing, but finding a bookend left tackle is quite another. Just about every NFL Draft sees a top 10 or top 15 pick used to secure a top left tackle prospect. They are truly hard to come by.
That helps explain why there is so much fuss about Sam Young, 6-7, 280-pounds, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., (St. Thomas Aquinas). His long arms and quick feet protect the backside of a right-handed quarterback.
After seeing schools from every region of the country offer him a scholarship, Young decided to narrow his list down to a manageable number.
"More or less just to not lean on any of the schools anymore than I had to," Young said of decision to cut his list. "That way schools could move on and recruit other offensive linemen."
And the lucky list of schools are?
"SC (Southern California), Stanford, Notre Dame, Penn State, Michigan, Florida and Miami," Young said.
St. Thomas Aquinas is once again not only one of Florida's top football teams, but perhaps as good as just about any team in the nation. That means Young will likely be playing into December, affecting his recruiting official visit calendar.
"I might be able to take one," Young said of squeezing in an official visit during his football season. "We have a bye week after the regular season is over, but most of them (official visits) will be after the season."
If St. Thomas Aquinas does reach the Florida State Finals that means the second Saturday in December is already booked for the big tackle, leaving the month of January to be utilized for three, possibly four or five official visits.
So what is Young looking for in a school?
"Looking at academics is first, second would be athletics – position coach, strength coach, and third, a place where I'm going to feel comfortable when I'm not playing football."
SMITTY'S TAKE - Young is not in a rush to decide, but his talent is worth the wait. His laid-back mentality and business-like approach fit the profile of a quarterback's best friend – a left tackle. Everyone will know where Young is headed close to or on National Signing Day.