River Ridge (La.) John Curtis 2014 linebacker Kenny Young saw his sophomore season cut short by a broken leg in the second round of the playoffs.
The injury shortened his season and kept him off of the summer camp circuit, but it did not keep him from emerging as one of the top young prospects in Louisiana.
At 6-2, 215 pounds, Young is hard to miss in the John Curtis defense, and college coaches have already taken notice. The Ole Miss Rebels decided they saw enough and wanted to be the first to extend an offer to the talented linebacker.
"I was happy and excited and humbled at the same time because knowing there were people out there looking at me made me more hungry," Young said. "I just thank God because I was injured last year and I didn't think I was going to get anything. So when they offered me it was a blessing from God. I just thank him first."
Over the weekend, Young made his way to Oxford to get a closer look into the Ole Miss program as they hosted in-state rival Mississippi State.
"It was a very good game. That was my first time going up there and my first time looking at the campus and the campus is very, very nice," Young said. "All the coaches showed a lot of love. They were excited to see me and I was excited to see them. I got to meet the head coach personally. Coach Freeze, we talked a little bit with my teammate Duke Riley. It was good. I enjoyed the game. It was a real good game."
It comes as no surprise that the Rebels are not alone in the pursuit of Young's talents. UCLA has shown strong interest, and then there are the LSU Tigers who have also come on strong.
LSU and Young have already become well acquainted over the course of the season, with the standout backer taking a few trips to Baton Rouge in 2012.
"I've been to like four LSU games this year," Young said. "The first one was when they played Washington. The second was when they played South Carolina and then when they played Alabama and when they played someone else."
At this point in the process, he is keeping his options open, and after the season he plans to take a few more visits. Right now though and for the past several weeks Young's focus and that of his teammates has been on claiming another state championship.
Year in and year out John Curtis is in the thick of the championship hunt, and 2012 is no different.
"For the past 21 weeks all we've been worried about is winning this state championship," Young said. "The only way to win a state championship is first there is chemistry and second is the work in and out of the weight room. That's what we've been doing. We've been working hard, harder than anyone in the country I feel. We've just been working together like a brotherhood and we try to stay together as much as possible and get that long time goal of winning a state championship as a team."
This week, the focus is on moving to 13-0 with a win over Springfield, La., in the semifinals of the LHSAA state playoffs.