The offers Young reported to The Bootleg read like a who's-who of BCS-conference schools: Maryland, Boston College, Kansas State, Virginia Tech, Virginia, Wake Forest, North Carolina, North Carolina State, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, Syracuse, Rutgers, Northwestern, Pitt and, of course, Stanford. However, those aren't the only programs showing interest in the three-star prospect, the No. 11 cornerback in the Class of 2010.
"Plus, there other schools talking to me, but haven't offered yet," Young said. "Tennessee, Notre Dame, UCLA, Vanderbilt, Ohio State and Penn State: those are the schools that just came into my recruitment and are talking about getting me out there and seeing me."
Many Stanford fans are likely wondering why Young backed out of his initial verbal to Stanford. As Young told The Bootleg, he felt his initial commitment to Stanford was as much the product of his family's desires as his own.
"It was more of a family decision, not my decision. They were just so wowed on the fact that it was Stanford. Lots of people in my family have never graduated or went to college, so that just jumped out at them. My mom did, but my dad didn't, though he's about to go back to school. … I mean, a lot of people in my family have really been successful at what they're doing without a degree. But still, my grandma especially, she really wants me to do something special in my family."
Wanting to please his family then, Young pulled the quick trigger for Stanford – a place he's never seen in his life – in October. But as offers continued to pour in, and the reality of going to college across the country began to set in, Young started to second-guess his decision.
"I felt like maybe I rushed into my commitment," Young explains. "I hadn't really seen a lot of places and I didn't not want to look everywhere else, just close my eyes, and shut down everybody. We didn't know too much about the recruiting process, but talking to my teammates since, guys like Jelani Jenkins, they've all said I should see the coaches, the campus, and see how I feel."
Thus, Young opened up his recruitment and has done exactly what he set out to do – visit campuses across the country, hear various schools' recruiting pitches, and enjoy the process.
"I've gone to Maryland, to their basketball game against UNC," Young said. "That was great. I got to sit down with the coaches and everything, see that atmosphere with all the fans.
"I've been to Boston College, though that was before my season. Basically they just started recruiting me this year and they've offered me.
"On April 25, I'm planning on going out to Virginia Tech with my cousin, quarterback Ricardo Young, who also has a Virginia Tech offer. Plus, I may be going out to Virginia with my teammate EJ Scott on [April] 18th. Plus, me and another teammate may check out North Carolina."
Of most interest to Stanford fans, however, is Young's planned visit to the Farm on May 16 – not to mention who Young might bring along.
"I'm not sure, but I think my teammate Troy Gloster might come with me too. He has a Stanford offer, and his older brother Drew is a tight end at Maryland. We're planning that."
Young says he would love to go to college with someone he knows, be it his cousin Ricardo or Gloster, a middle linebacker with offers from football powerhouses like Michigan, West Virginia and Wisconsin. Ultimately though, Young is searching for a school where he can fit in, a school that will make him feel comfortable adjusting from high school to college, from living with his family to living alone.
"[Attending college with a teammate] would be a big factor in my decision, depending on where they would go and if it's the best decision for all of us," he said. "But how I fit in is the main thing I'll be looking for on my visit to Stanford. I'll be there for four days, so I hope I can see that. … I'm a momma's boy when it comes to being away from home."
Speaking of family, Young's family is planning on accompanying him on his Stanford trip, which could have a major impact for the self-proclaimed "momma's boy."
"I really want my family to come with me, and be able to sit down with them," he said. "Then, I'll judge things from the visits and then I'll make a final decision."
Indeed, Young hopes to make that college selection by the start of his senior year, barring any last-minute indecision.
"Basically, after all the visits in April, May and June, by the end of June to mid-July, I'll put out a top five then, and those are the ones I'll be choosing from for a final commitment," he said. "I hope to make a final decision by August, but if I'm confused, I'll take my official visits and wait until during after season."
Young reports a 3.25 GPA and is planning on retaking the ACT June 13. Perhaps unsurprisingly, given his family's emphasis on education, academics will be an area Young focuses upon as he hones in on a school.
"I'm looking at the coaches, if it's a family atmosphere, the academics and the competitiveness of the team, whether they have the will to win," Young said of his criteria in choosing a school. "I'd like to win and be a part of positive thing. I want, maybe, to play early. Also, job security with the coaches -- I don't want them to be here one year and leave the next year. I want them to be there, competing for championships."
In advance of his May 16 visit to Stanford, Young said the Cardinal are looking strong in several of those categories.
"They've got great academics, obviously," Young said. "Coach Harbaugh is a competitive dude. I know the area is nice and it's beautiful down there. Even so, it's how I'm feeling, and how I'm going to fit in, just a gut feeling."
Several coaches have done their best to help Young develop that "gut feeling" about their program, maintaining regular contact with him. For his part, Young reports a strong relationship with coaches across the country.
"Illinois [defensive line] coach Keith Gilmore -- me and him have really got a great relationship," Young said of coaches who've stood out to him. "Coach Harbaugh and [offensive coordinator David] Shaw from Stanford. Coaches from Maryland, Virginia Tech, North Carolina, UVA, Pittsburgh. All the coaches, really."
As many of those coaches try their best to impress Young on visits, as Young visits the Card May 16 and names a top five soon after, The Bootleg will be there. Stay tuned for all the latest!
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