Palm Beach (Fla.) pass-rushing demon Willie Young is a hot prospect this season for his ability to get into the backfield and disrupt the quarterback.
As a junior at Palm Beach Gardens, he had 60 tackles, 15 tackles for loss and nine sacks, and he expects to build on those numbers this season.
“I learned a lot of stuff at camps this summer,” he said. “I went to Rutgers’ camp, the Nike camp at Miami and the D-I camp at Ft. Lauderdale. There were a ton of good coaches at those camps, and I took some moves from just about all of them. I’ve been working on my ‘Willie Move’ now. That’s what I’m calling it. It’s going to bring me a bunch of sacks this year.”
Young (6-5, 210, 4.6) features an explosive first step off the ball and a long wingspan that serves him well coming off the end. Scouts envision him with 30 more pounds and begin to salivate.
“I’ve got 11 offers now,” he said. “N.C. State, Georgia, Nebraska, Wake Forest, South Carolina, East Carolina, Ohio State, Oklahoma, UCF, Auburn and Florida.”
Who owns the early lead?
“That’s the hard part,” Young said. “I like all of them a lot. I’m trying to get it down to six or seven schools right now, but I’m not really making any progress. When the coaches can start calling again in September, I think that will help me see what things look like.”
N.C. State was the first program to offer, pursuing Young early in his junior season. He says he’ll always remember that, making the Wolfpack an attractive pick.
In addition to the schools who have offered, Young says he’s receiving interest from Miami, Florida State, Michigan and Tennessee.
“I know I’m going to take all five visits before I do anything,” he said. “I want to do that to make sure I find the right school for me, but I don’t want to wait until the last minute, either. I’ll probably decide right after my visits.”
Academically, Young maintains a 2.6 GPA and is awaiting his SAT scores. He plans to major in veterinary medicine due to his childhood love of animals.