Kelsey Young Dishes on Stanford Future

Life is looking up for 2010 Stanford RB commit Kelsey Young. The Norco, Calif. senior visited the Farm a week ago, and heard of his admission just before. With Jordan Perkins and Amir Carlisle, one-time 2011 Cardinal tailback commits, now headed to Northwestern and USC respectively, Young becomes that much more central to Stanford's football future, and The Bootleg caught up with Young recently.

"I got good news about Admissions, school is back in session and I set a second semester goal of a 4.6 GPA," Kelsey Young said. "I started a job at Hollister too, so things are looking up right now."

Young found out he had gotten into Stanford just before taking last weekend's official visit to Stanford.

"I heard about Admissions last Wednesday, right before we left for my official," he said. "It was a good feeling, knowing I was in. The anxiety was over."

Then, of course, came the actual Big Visit weekend itself.

"The whole recruiting class was pretty much up there, a lot of dudes from all over the country, future teammates, lots of friends," he said. "Everybody bonded, had a good time and welcomed each other. There was a good bond with the team, and I'll have fun the next four, next five years."

The Big Visit weekend also came just days after David Shaw was promoted to head coach. We asked if Young felt comfortable with the transition from the Jim Harbaugh era.

"Most definitely," Young said. "Coach Shaw really helped recruit me and I have a great relationship with him, just like with Harbaugh. And Polian, everyone on the staff, I've come across one way or another, so I feel like there's a bond and there've been no big changes or anything like that."

As to highlights of the weekend, Young spoke of sitting in on classes, much like previous commits The Bootleg has interviewed.

"First of all, seeing a class, and seeing the topics discussed was really fun to me," he said. "Then, the overall campus, the people, it seems to be nicer up there than down here in SoCal. I don't like the weather better [in Palo Alto], but the people are real friendly."

Young sees himself majoring in a decidedly non-stereotypical field for a football player.

"I'd like to study something in computer science, something in engineering, along those lines," Young said. "I don't know how things might change though."

It's not just idle talk for Young, who as he mentioned earlier, is shooting for a seemingly-impossible 4.6 GPA in his final high school semester.

"I've had a 4.0 for too long with football," Young said of his weighted GPA. "Now, with more time to focus on the classroom, I have another goal I set myself. I like physics, psych and my pre-calculus class. I'm a math guy, kind of a philosophical guy."

On the gridiron, Young has shown similar versatility, as he's played on both sides of the ball in high school, and is willing to do whatever to see the field come college.

"I know I'm going to play running back, hopefully, but I'm going to try to get on some special teams, punt returner, kick returner, see how I can do compared to the other competition. Anything to get me on the depth chart, and, as quickly as possible, in the lineup.

"I played DB in real tough situations, with the game on the line in high school, and we never lost when I played on D, so I guess I kind of helped out. Playing D, I've played both ways all my life, Pop Warner, Junior All-America, but in my heart, I've always been a running back."

Young waxes philosophical when talking about the challenges of being a tailback.

"It's where I feel the most creative. It's like taking on the challenge of life. Everyone is coming at you and you have to use the right training and calculate whether to run over a guy, juke him out or make a good block. It helps to improve every aspect of the game, your run blocking, your juking, it's everything, the most diverse position besides quarterback. You have to catch too."

His answer was similarly thoughtful when we asked of his favorite moments from high school football.

"Just the grind," he said. "Building a relationship with the team, sacrificing time to go out and train seeing the effect that can come when you dedicate yourself to something totally."

The final piece of the puzzle that had to fall into place for Kelsey Young to land at Stanford was academic. Here too, Young had to dedicate himself totally to Stanford, for as he describes it, his academic machinations for Stanford left him with virtually no other college option.

"I got the [admissions] letter," Young said, as The Bootleg had previously reported. "I mean, I was confident, pretty confident, that I was going to get in, and also by doing the type of classes Stanford wanted, I opted out of going to any college. The classes I took for Stanford made me ineligible for UCs [University of California schools]. Stanford was my only choice, so it kind of had to work."

We were a little skeptical here, so we asked Young for an explanation.

"In my ninth grade year, I was in an AVID program, a program at my high school that prepares you for college, so it took me out of classes, some of the required classes I would need for college and to graduate high school," Young said. "So I had to make those up this year, my senior year, but to meet the demands for Stanford in my schedule, I had to get rid of courses others wanted me to have. So Stanford pretty much had to work, otherwise I would have had to give an arm and a leg or something to go to college."

If Young is indeed correct, thank today's American educational bureaucracy for a special college prep program that, ironically, leaves its graduates with no wiggle room to actually qualify in-state colleges. (But have you seen just how self-confident this program's graduates feel? Who needs hard skills or a college degree? This program does wonders!) The societal implications of such a program boggle the mind, but in Young's case, the important thing is that the courses worked out and Young will indeed be starting at Stanford this summer.

"My parents did a lot of praying," he said. "They're ecstatic. They see the outcome, what happens and why I had that drive, and can see those results. I'd spend time on work instead of going out and they would say, ‘Go out,' they were saying, ‘Go out', because I was sacrificing, but now they see what it was all for."

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