Dedrick Young was a two-way star for a state title team. But more importantly, his high school coach said, the Peoria (Arizona) Centennial running back/linebacker is a rare combination of humility and confidence.
"You get a lot of people who are real confident, and they'll tell you how go they're going to do and how they're going to do it, and they usually end up not doing it or people who don't have humility whatsoever, but Dedrick has both," said Centennial coach Richard Taylor. "And that's one thing that's going to help him be successful the rest of his life."
The Huskers would like the 6-foot-1, 225-pound three-star prospect to be successful quickly at linebacker. And Young, as an early enrollee, will have a chance to do just that after he announced the decision at his school. Young picked NU over Arizona and Michigan State, although Young's only other official visit was to Washington.
Young is rated as a four-star linebacker by Scout and a three-star running back by Rivals and ESPN. 247 Sports ranks Young as a three-star athlete.
The prospect told several recruiting sites that his decision was based on the academic support and atmosphere at Nebraska. He also knew of new coach Mike Riley when Riley coached at Oregon State.
First-team all-state in 2013 according to the Arizona Republic, Young rushed for 1,529 yards and 19 touchdowns on offense and logging 98 tackles — including seven tackles for loss — as a middle linebacker in 2014 for Centennial, which won the Division II state title on Nov. 29. Young's 75-yard touchdown run in that game iced the win for Centennial, one of the state's power programs. At Young's press conference, Taylor said Young had accounted for more than 4,400 yards of offense and 55 touchdowns during his high school career and finished as the second-leading tackler in school history.
Young was the second linebacker commit for the class, following the flipped commit of New Orleans Edna Karr prospect Tyrin Ferguson from Oregon State to Nebraska.
Young also announced his commitment to Nebraska on Twitter.
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Coachspeak: “He’s a rare combination of humility and confidence, which doesn’t happen very often. Usually you have kids who are so humble that they get so shy and can’t do anything, or they’re so confident that they tell you exactly what they’re going to do, how they’re going to do it, and they don’t do crap.” — Centennial coach Richard Taylor
Our take: He didn’t come early to hold a tackling dummy. A quiet, determined sort, Young should play on special teams and compete for a backup linebacker job as a true freshman. He has the size to make the transition easier than many of the linebackers Nebraska signed. If, for whatever reason, he didn’t work at linebacker, he’s arguably a better running back prospect.
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