Albany High's Juwon Young, who starred at defensive end last year for the Indians but will be moving to linebacker this coming season, is already garnering serious interesting from Auburn, Arkansas and Florida --- and he's only a rising junior.
ALBANY — He is a just a rising junior, but Albany High linebacker/defensive end Juwon Young has already created a stir among several Division I schools, including Auburn, where he received rave reviews last week after he wowed coaches at a summer camp.
“They really liked him at Auburn,’’ Albany High coach Felton Williams said Tuesday. “He had a real good camp there. He has had a lot of interest from Division I schools and SEC schools, like Auburn and Florida. Arkansas was here in the spring and sounded like they wanted to offer him a scholarship right now. Maryland is very interested. He is only a junior, and he is going to get a lot more interest.’’
Young is 6-foot-3 and weighs 225 pounds. He runs the 40 in 4.6 and will make the move from defensive end to linebacker this season at Albany High.
He told The Herald on Tuesday he has made the most of his trips to camps in Florida and Auburn.
“The coaches at Auburn liked me a lot,’’ Young said. “The head coach, coach (Gene) Chizik, told me he really liked my body frame and my speed and how I float to the ball. Their linebacker coach, coach (Tommy) Thigpen, told me he liked my body frame and my speed and my hands.
“I felt good that they showed a lot of interest in me. It was a good feeling and a good experience. I’ll remember it for a lifetime.’’
Young got the same response from the coaches at Florida after attending a camp in Gainesville last month.
“Coach (Will) Muschamp was telling me how they are recruiting my position at defensive end heavily and told me he liked my speed and my hands and my quick feet,’’ Young said.
Young was invited to a summer camp at Arkansas but had to decline.
“They invited me to a camp in Arkansas but it was at the same time as the Florida camp, and I had already told coach Muschamp that I was coming there so I couldn’t go to the camp in Arkansas,’’ he added.
Young attended a camp in Athens for Georgia, but said he didn’t get much feedback.
“I didn’t talk to any of the coaches at Georgia,’’ Young said. “I wasn’t one of their top prospects.’’
He still has a long way to go in the recruiting process, but Young appreciated the interest from Florida and Auburn.
“Right now, Auburn and Florida are neck-and-neck,’’ he said. “At Auburn and Florida, they both showed a whole lot of interest in me.’’
Young can’t believe how far he has come in one year.
“It’s amazing to me,’’ he said. “I went from being a nobody at the start of last year. Coach (Williams) started putting me out there at Hugh Mills Stadium. It’s amazing how (college coaches) have come in one after another and showed interest in me. It’s a very good experience. I never thought it would happen so fast.’’
The avalanche of interest this summer has put a fire into Young as the season approaches.
“It motivates me a lot,’’ he said. “It makes me want to do better and go harder. It gives me a whole ’nother drive. I’m planning on having an outstanding year. I’m going to lead the team in tackles and blocked field goals and also play running back. I’m going to be the Player of the Week every week.’’