By Alex Norman
South-Doyle’s Elijah Young has positioned himself as one of the top high school football players in the state of Tennessee. As of the time this article was written, Young was ranked 15th in the Volunteer state for the Class of 2020
As a 3-star athlete that is also considered the sixth-best all-purpose bank in the country, Young certainly didn’t lack for attention. Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisville, South Carolina, and yes Tennessee each were among the many suitors that offered Young a scholarship in this recruiting cycle.
But in the end, Young decided to head west… and earlier this month verbally committed to Missouri shortly after taking an official visit to Columbia.
What was it about the Tigers that made Missouri the place for him? “Just the environment, the coaches, the players, and how they told me they would use me,” said Young.
“I think he handles it (the recruiting process) as well as anyone I’ve seen,” said South-Doyle head coach Clark Duncan. “He went through the process and we talked a lot about it. He’s handled the notoriety and the attention very well. He’s a team player and loves his teammates. They love him. There is no jealously… when he is here he is one of the guys.”
Young said that the Tigers are planning to play him on the offensive side of the football, mainly in the backfield. He would also be used as a slot receiver.
“I think the thing is that he is the whole package,” said Duncan. “He is fast, but he’s physical, sees the field well and is a competitor. He has a great personality so he can build relationships. These are great qualities in a young man. Very personable.”
Duncan added, “He is an all-purpose back… he can catch the ball and you can put him in space. He is so versatile. He doesn’t only have to play running back. He just has so many qualities.”
Elijah Young has been known in recruiting circles for quite a while. Now heading into his senior season with the Cherokees, he is in line to put a capper on what has been a tremendous high school football career.
“I think he came to us with maturity to start with,” said Duncan. “I think he has progressed beyond his years. We all saw greatness in him and that he had the potential to be good. As a freshman he contributed to our state semifinal team and played a big role on that team. Sometimes the kids don’t mature, but he seems to have gotten even better every year.”
Even with this verbal commitment, Young will still be contacted by other schools as they try to flip him from this commitment. Young told me that he does not plan on taking any other official visits. Those other programs likely won’t have as much time to make their case with Young as in years past. The early signing period, which came into play in 2017, means that student-athletes can sign their national letters of intent during a three day period in mid-December, and not have to wait until National Signing Day in February. And that could be very good news for the Tigers going forward. Young is one of 11 verbal commits to Missouri at the present time.