Happy camper

Making an official visit to Tennessee this weekend was easy for one Knoxville-based Vol commitment. Making himself leave was a bit more difficult.

Devrin Young, the do-it-all back from Bearden High School, had such a great visit that he literally gushed when asked about his tour of the campus.

"Oh, my goodness, it was amazing ... so fun!" he said. "Everything was so organized and perfectly set up. The food was great, the people were great. It was just like being with family. It seemed like everybody had a fun time."

Young was among a host of commitments visiting the campus this weekend. He says he sensed a powerful level of camaraderie.

"The best part was just hitting it off real good with some of the other 2011 commitments," he said. "We became buds almost automatically. It's exciting, seeing what the future holds."

In addition to coaches and players, Young met some impressive folks representing the "Vol For Life" character enrichment program.

"They talk with you about things outside of football, about developing you as a person," he said. "It was amazing. They cover everything, not just football."

Young spent a good portion of his visit with Vol grad assistant/running backs coach Chino Fontenette. The recruit also enjoyed hanging out with freshmen Jacques Smith, JaWuan James and Martaze Jackson.

Because he grew up 10 minutes away, Young is no stranger to the UT campus.

"Living here, I'm up there all the time," he said. "Just since I committed I've been up there for every home game since the UAB game."

Young averaged 10.79 yards per carry en route to 1,769 rushing yards in 10 games this fall. At 5-9 and 165 pounds, he probably lacks the size to be an every-down tailback in college. He could be a key factor for the 2011 Vols, however, because of his quickness and versatility.

"They plan on utilizing my speed, trying to get me the ball in open areas," said Young, who compiled more than 3,000 all-purpose yards and and scored 42 touchdowns as a Bearden senior. "I'm looking to get the ball on handoffs, on catches, on kick returns and punt returns ... the same way Coach (Derek) Dooley used Phillip Livas at Louisiana Tech."

Although opposing punters kicked away from Young this fall, he had a 92-yard touchdown runback among his three 2010 returns.

Tennessee return men were almost comically inept handling punts this fall, routinely muffing or fumbling the ball. Young expects that area to be vastly improved in 2011.

"I feel like once we get on the same page, we can be a force on special teams," he said. "Special teams are very important to Coach Dooley, and we're going to work hard on that area."


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