Young's Feeling Sends Carolina Reeling

Moments before sitting down to watch Sunday's Super Bowl, Eric Young took time out to talk about his surprising decision to commit to Tennessee this weekend, effectively ending what was shaping up as major in-state battle between Clemson and South Carolina for the Young Man rated America's No. 3 offensive lineman.

But instead of an all-South-Carolina power struggle for the biggest pigskin prize the Palmetto State has produced in the 21st Century, it's Tennessee that reels in the 6-4, 280, All-American standout. But before the Vols finished reeling, Young already had a feeling.

"One reason was that I really enjoyed myself," Young said when asked what prompted his decision. "The other thing was I got that feeling I was looking for. I was looking for a feeling all along and I got that feeling.

"I think I fit in very well there. No doubt, I felt comfortable there. I'm absolutely 100 percent sure I made the right decision."

Young, who graded out at 88 percent this season for Union Comprehensive High School in Union S.C., runs a sub 4.8 time in the 40, bench presses 320, cleans 320 and squats 455. He has the makings to be a player on the defensive line, but offense is his future.

"I didn't touch the field on defense last season," he said. "I've played goal-line defense. At one point there was some talk about me playing defense (in college), but it's all been offensive tackle now."

Young says he plans to major in communications or business and he praised the positive, no-pressure approach Tennessee took while recruiting him.

"Dan Brooks recruited me and did a good job," he said. "I sat down with Coach Fulmer and had a long conversation. We talked for about two hours. We came to terms. He asked me what I wanted. The main thing was that it was up to me. He didn't pressure me or nothing. We just sat down and talked, and I felt that was me and that's where I belonged."

Tennessee will still have to survive an in-state assault as both South Carolina's Lou Holtz and Clemson's Tommy Bowden will make in-home appeals this week. He has already taken official visits to both campuses. Young said he's also open to taking his visit to North Carolina this weekend.

"Like I said: I've committed and everything, if they still want me to come and they think they can persuade me I'm all for it, but I'm still committed to Tennessee."

Interestingly, Young said there was one thing that really distinguished Tennessee from the competition, and it just goes to show there's a positive side to putting so many players in the NFL, even when some leave early to go there.

"The lineman they put in the League," Young said with a baritone chuckle. "They've got one playing today (Cosey Coleman of Tampa Bay). Knowing they put people in the League meant a lot to me."

Young's decision means a lot to Tennessee's current recruiting campaign and even more to it's the Vols offensive line of the future.


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