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Young jumps at chance to be a Vol
BHS All-state RB meets with Dooley, commits Sept. 29

Devrin Young's quickness, speed and ability to dart through holes were never issues in terms of a possible major college football career.

However, his 5-foot-9, 165-pound frame supposedly was a roadblock toward big-time scholarship offers.

But not in Dooleysville.

Tennessee head coach Derek Dooley offered Young, Bearden's hotshot All-state running back with 1,093 yards rushing and 21 touchdowns in six Bulldogs games, a full scholarship to become a Volunteer Wednesday evening, Sept. 29.

“It wasn't really much of a tough decision,” Young said about his commitment to UT, given to Dooley on the phone Sept. 29 after first meeting the new Vols boss in person four days earlier.

“I'm glad to finally have just somewhere to call home, and that is home,” Young added. “He didn't care about my size, and that I'm the type of player he's looking for.

“He said he'd dealt with two [smaller] players before me, one at Louisiana Tech [Dooley's previous head coaching job],” Young added.

With more than 1,500 all-purpose yards playing little more than half of BHS's first five games, Young, 17, said Dooley would look at him as a running back or slot receiver, plus special teams duty including punt returns and kickoff returns.

As opposed to possible duty defensively at cornerback, “Coach Dooley himself said I was an offensive player,” Young said. “I would like to put my two cents in on the offensive side of the ball.

“As long as I can get the ball in my hands and, God willing, make things happen.

“He said he wished he had me this year, and that I can be a good asset to their program,” Young added.

In a phone call from Dooley “last Thursday [Sept. 23],” the first correspondence from UT expressing interest in Young according to the BHS running back, “They said they were thinking about making a move on me. That [Dooley] would like to meet with me in person, and just go from there.”

That initial contact “made me feel great,” Young added. “I got super excited, but I didn't want to get too excited because nobody likes to be let down. But it raised my spirits a lot.”

“It's a huge blessing, a huge honor.”

However, Young said his decision wasn't final until the evening he made it official.

Young, along with mother, Danyel, and other family members, met with Dooley in his office “probably for about 10 minutes” a few hours before UT's game versus UAB Saturday, Sept. 25, in Neyland Stadium.

After the meeting, “They hadn't offered me yet, and they were looking at all four corners of everything,” Devrin said. “But we knew things were going to look more up than down, so we felt pretty confident.”

Young, one of the state's top 200-meter sprinters as a valuable member of Steve Prince's BHS track and field team, had been seriously pursued by one other major college power: Stanford of the Pacific-10 Conference.

Complicating a decision toward the highly regarded academic-athlete institution in Palo Alto, Calif., according to Young, was reaching the required ACT score.

Danyel said of her son's decision, “I'm very excited about it. I'm happy, in general, that he's able to get an education with the Vols, being able to offer him with football. It just helps me out so much.

“I'm really looking forward to the education Devrin's going to get.”

As for football, “Coach Dooley made me feel so comfortable, very at home in his office,” Danyel said. “Totally genuine. We were on the same page with so many things. I'm also happy because UT is a powerhouse school, the SEC.”

Among the issues and “mother things” Danyel said she wanted to hear from Dooley was his status as Vols head coach.

In other words, could he be leaving for greener football fields during Devrin's years of eligibility?

“He said there's no way that he's going anywhere else any time soon,” she said. “He said this is his home, he likes it here, he wants to be here, he wants to build a great program.”

Along with all other high school football prospects offered by major college programs, Young can make his decision official on “National Signing Day” in early February 2011.


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