Young narrows it down

No other recruit has handled the recruiting process with more care than Ft. Lauderdale offensive lineman Sam Young (6-6.5, 295). After a lengthy June 28 gathering with his parents and St. Thomas Aquinas head football coach George Smith, Young narrowed his list of schools of interest to seven.

The seven schools are USC, Florida, Miami, Michigan, Stanford, Notre Dame and Penn State.

The recruiting process began for Young as soon as his junior season ended and part of that process included a spring break trip to USC and Stanford.

"I had tremendous trips to Stanford and the University of Southern California," Young said. "Those are two quality programs that represent academics and football tradition. They were impressive. We took the opportunity to visit a couple of family members out there. It was a mini family vacation and we got to drive up and down the coast.

"I got to meet Coach Carroll, Coach Ruel and some of the other coaches. Coach Carroll laid out what happens at USC. I was able to sit down with them and they were able to enlighten me about certain aspects of the school."

Pete Carroll told Young what he tells every Trojan recruit.

"He said I'd be the same as anyone else coming in," Young said. "I'd have to earn my position. I'd have to fight for everything I'd get. He made a point to say if I came to USC I'd have to compete just like everyone else. I think that's one of the great things he's doing.

"He's created a competitive environment where everyone gets better from last-string to first-string. Obviously I'd like to be able to play right away, but the system he has in place is obviously working being that they've won back to back NC's. It's a definitely new way of looking at things and I think it's a great idea to be honest with you."

Young sent letters to 16 schools informing them he was no longer interested. That's a sign of a mature and classy individual.

The seven schools he's still interested in should feel like they've gotten to the final four of the NCAA Basketball Tournament. Getting a player of Young's ability will improve any offensive line in the country.

Sam was asked if any of the seven schools are coming at him harder than others.

"They're all coming at me pretty much the same," Young said. "Some are taking a different angle than others. Some go at it a little more direct and some try and maintain a sense of normalcy in this process."

All schools will have their work cut out recruiting Young and he's in no hurry to make a decision.

"I'd like to have my official visits set sometime heading into the season, but it's very important I take my time with this process," Young said. "I want to make sure every step of the way I'm being very calculated and making sure I'm doing the things that are best for me and my family. I'm hoping to narrow my list down during the season."

Getting a prospect to leave home and attend school 2,700 miles from home is a daunting task. However, the Trojans have landed some of the top talent from the East-Coast the past two years. A few of those players were stricken with the "Homesick" bug, but they overcame the short-lived blues with the help from family, the coaching staff and teammates.

According to Young, distance won't be a mark against USC.

"I've been away from home before, Young said. "I mean the University of Florida is a five hour drive and it's a six hour flight to Los Angeles. Either way you have to travel."

We'll provide an update on Sam's status and trip plans at the end of summer. Top Stories