Young Picks the Aggies

After signing four guards in the 2012 recruiting class, the Aggies landed its first post prospect of the Billy Kennedy era. Aggie Websider's David Sandhop spoke to Andrew Young and his coach to get insights on the reasons why he chose A&M and why he' s such a coveted prospect

Two weeks ago, the Texas A&M basketball program was sitting on five open scholarship slots and no commitments one week before the beginning of the spring signing period. Last week, JUCO all-American point guard Fabyon Harris and former Missouri commit Shawn Smith signed with the Aggies while Dallas native and FSU forward Antwuan Space announced that he was transferring back to Texas to play for head coach Billy Kennedy.

On Tuesday, Kennedy and staff put the proverbial cherry on top of this surging recruiting class when Monterey Peninsula forward Andrew Young signed on the dotted line after a spirited recruitment that had programs like Oregon, NC State, Vanderbilt, Stanford, and a late inquiry from Kentucky pushing for his services.

"Yes sir, I signed with Texas A&M today," Young said. "It was close, but after meeting with coaches from Oregon and Texas A&M, and then going over my options last night, I felt Texas A&M was the best fit for me."

The 6-foot-9, 235-pound athletic forward redshirted after transferring into Monterey Peninsula in 2010. He had a breakout sophomore campaign under head coach Blake Spiering averaging 21.8 points and 14.2 rebounds a contest in the 2011-2012 season, both figures leading the state of California. Spiering said it was a matter of providing some structure so Young's natural abilities could be developed.

"He wasn't comfortable with some things at his previous school and he was looking for some structure and development," Spiering said. "We provided that, and Andrew did the rest. He's a relentless worker. In my 20 years of coaching, I haven't seen a player with as much drive and intensity as Andrew. His motor runs at 110% all the time. He never takes off a play or a drill. Nobody will outwork him on and off the court."

But it's not just his effort and work ethic that made Young a highly coveted commodity for many of the nation's top basketball programs. His athleticism and versatility earned him California all-state honors which attracted some of the top coaches at the collegiate level during the recruiting process.

"Andrew runs like a deer and he has a versatile skill set which is unique for his size," Spiering said. "He flourishes around the basket and he's a tough rebounder. But he's also a very good passer in the post, and he can step out for a shot and has range to the three-point line."

While many recruiting pundits thought Young would choose either the surging North Carolina State program in the ACC or his childhood and hometown favorite Oregon Ducks, it was the dark horse Aggies that came away with the prize on Tuesday.

"It came down to Oregon and Texas A&M last night. Playing at home in front of family and friends in Eugene has always been a dream of mine," Young said. "But it was important for me to go where I felt the most comfortable and that was Texas A&M. I built a strong relationship with Coach Keller (A&M asst. coach) and I have full trust in him and the A&M coaching staff. I also felt comfortable with the players and meshed well with them. I'm already going to room with Ray Turner."

Young is scheduled to graduate from Monterey Peninsula College on June 2 and he'll be in College Station to begin his D-1 career on June 4, so the highly-regarded forward is wasting no time getting started on his new experience in Texas playing for the Aggies in their inaugural season in the SEC.

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