UW hoping to land Young as final ‘06 commit

As the 2006 recruiting season winds down, the Washington coaches now look to solidify their hoops class with one final recruit. Already getting commits from an elite big man (Spencer Hawes), two solid wing players (Quincy Pondexter and Phil Nelson), and an accomplished point guard (Adrian Oliver), the Huskies staff now looks to add another scorer. And if they had their way, Florida Junior College phenom Blake Young would be that guy.

The 6-foot-1 guard from Dayton Beach Community College is being coveted by schools from all across the country, and it's easy to see why. After posting a 23.4 points per game average and a team-high 59 steals this past season, Young was named Mid-Florida Conference Player of the Year, while leading his squad to a 25-5 record.

A self-proclaimed "combo" guard, Young is able to score while also getting his teammates involved. But make no mistake, the part of his game that is drawing the most attention is his ability to put the ball in the bucket. "I'm a scorer," Young told Dawgman.com. "I can get to the basket and I can shoot." That's good news for a Washington team that is losing its top three scorers to graduation.

Young attended Oakridge High School, where he was twice named team MVP. His 27.8 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 4.5 assists per game averages were good enough to get him selected to play in the FHSAA All-Star Game. He was also chosen to participate in the Florida Senior Showcase, where he was named Co-MVP and won the Slam Dunk contest. Young has also won several other dunk contests in the state of Florida, which at only 6'1" proves that he is an amazing athlete.

You would think that with such an impressive high school resume, a player like Young would have no problem landing a scholarship to a major university, but that was not the case. Although he was cleared to play out of high school, his scores arrived late which meant that Young had to go through the NCAA. This scared away many schools, which felt that he would have had to sit out a year.

So Young chose to attend community college in nearby Daytona Beach. It was here that he was able to focus in the classroom, while also polishing his already solid hoops game. "My jump shot has gotten a lot better since high school," Young said, which proves that he has been putting in extra time in the gym over the past two years.

Having already taken three official visits to St. Johns, Creighton, and Kansas State, Young now comes to Seattle this Friday for his official visit to the UW campus. "(They've been telling me) they pretty much need me to come in and fill a spot," Young said of his talks with coaches Lorenzo Romar and Cameron Dollar.

Hopefully Young likes what he sees, as this is the last of his scheduled visits. He did say that he would come to an immediate decision once he has taken all of his visits. Conventional wisdom would point to the Huskies, since they have had the most success recently of the four teams Young is considering. The one thing that could deter his arrival in Seattle is the fact that Young has never been to the Northwest and has no ties to area. But, with the Huskies in serious need of scoring two-guard, it would be puzzling for Young to pass up the opportunity to play major role for a one of the fastest rising programs in the country.

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