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Making the Case: RB Richard Young

Richard Young
Richard Young (Rivals.com)

Richard Young is the No. 2 running back in the 2023 class, and he had more than 50 offers to consider.

But over the last few days, the Lehigh Acres (Fla.) Lehigh standout significantly narrowed his choices to Alabama, Georgia and Oregon. That is not necessarily a shock, since those are the programs that Young has most focused on in recent months.

Alabama has so much running back tradition and success in the backfield, plus Young has shown a tremendous amount of interest in the Crimson Tide throughout his recruitment.

Georgia is coming off a national championship and the Bulldogs have done a terrific job developing running backs. Position coach Dell McGee has been recruiting Young and No. 1 RB Justice Haynes diligently.

Oregon is the wild card here. Living more than 3,000 miles away from Eugene, Ore., has not stopped the high four-star from taking two trips there in recent months as he’s hit it off with the new coaching staff there. It’s certainly something to watch moving forward.

In today’s Making the Case, experts from around the Rivals network make an argument for a particular school and then national recruiting director Adam Gorney issues his verdict as to where he sees Young ending up.

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SERIES ON 2023 PROSPECTS: Five thoughts on the 2023 QB class | RBs | WRs | TEs

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  ALABAMA  

Young has been a top priority target for the Crimson Tide since the early stages of his recruitment. He has a very strong relationship with Alabama running backs coach Robert Gillespie. Alabama produces elite running backs year after year and many of those players are currently in the NFL, including Derrick Henry, Najee Harris, Josh Jacobs, Damien Harris, Mark Ingram, Kenyan Drake and Brian Robinson. The structure of the program’s development, competing for championships and relationship with all coaches on staff seem to indicate that Alabama is in great position with the highly touted back. This has been considered an Alabama/Georgia battle for a long time. I believe the Tide will finish on top in his recruitment. - Andrew Bone, BamaInsider.com

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GEORGIA  

Georgia has crushed the on-campus recruiting portion of Young’s recruitment. The Bulldogs first began surging for him after he visited Athens earlier this spring. His official visit to Athens in June also went very well. Georgia is one of the only schools in the nation that can go toe-to-toe with Alabama in terms of sending running backs to the NFL. The Bulldogs will have to lean on that and Young’s relationship with McGee to topple the Crimson Tide here. - Jed May, UGASports.com

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OREGON 

Young doesn't say much about his recruitment, but his actions and efforts do. He's been to Oregon multiple times, including his official visit during the Ducks' big June 24-26 visitor weekend. That's a long trip from Florida, but it goes back to his relationship with offensive coordinator Kenny Dillingham (who was at Florida State the last two years). They've built a very strong connection through his recruitment and because of that the Ducks have to be taken seriously as a contender. They can sell him on both the running back tradition in this particular offense - Dillingham was the OC under Mike Norvell at Memphis in 2018 when the Tigers ranked fourth nationally with 279.93 rushing yards per game - and the lineage of great Oregon backs. The Ducks also don't have a backlog on the depth chart and can pitch Young on a clear path to early playing time. It may be hard to beat the other finalists in his recruitment who are much closer to home for the RB, but Oregon has given Young plenty to think about and is in his top three for a reason. - Ryan Young, DuckSportsAuthority.com

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THE VERDICT

Alabama is still the team to beat for Young, and while that could change, especially if Oregon continues to intrigue him or if Justice Haynes surprisingly doesn’t pick Georgia, I would be surprised if Young doesn’t end up with the Crimson Tide. He plays like an Alabama running back, he looks like an Alabama running back and my prediction is that he ends up in the Crimson Tide backfield. Alabama has been the team to beat for some time and there doesn’t seem to be a good reason yet why he wouldn’t end up in Tuscaloosa. - Adam Gorney, Rivals national recruiting director