Posted: 3:32 pm Monday, May 17th, 2010
By Jason Lieser
Note: Welcome to the PBGametime 2010 Spring Football Tour! Over the next 10 weekdays, we’ll visit area teams, meet some of the top players and answer the most pressing questions. Today’s stop is Palm Beach Gardens, where the Gators look to make the postseason behind 6-foot-6, 265-pound offensive tackle Avery Young.
Coaches have made a case for Palm Beach Gardens’ Avery Young being the top offensive lineman in the area this year. Some even put him ahead of Park Vista’s two BCS prospects.
Young (6-6 1/4, 265, 4.97) will be a junior this fall and already has fueled talk that he could be the country’s No. 1 prospect when he is a senior.
You can see Young and the Gators in their spring game this Friday at 7 p.m. at Glades Day.
Young’s brother, former Palm Beach Gardens and North Carolina State standout Willie Young, Jr., is in training camp with the Detroit Lions. He said his younger brother is ahead of “70 percent” of the offensive tackles he faced in college.
In a recent interview, Avery Young talked about his progression, his swelling star status and his other passion: fishing.
Question: At your size and speed, you could probably play another position. Do you like playing on the offensive line?
Avery Young: “I’m liking left tackle. I like knowing that I’m a big part of the team. If I take one play off, that can cost the whole offense. If I make two blocks at the same time or something like that, that’s a touchdown. That determines whether we win or lose.”
What do you think of the recruiting attention you’ve received so early in your high school career?
AY: “It’s been great. I like knowing somebody’s watching me at the position I’ve been playing. It’s making me work on my game. I can’t just sit on my butt all day. I’ve got to keep working and prove that.
“It only takes one time for you to let all that get to your head and you slip. Just keep doing what you’re supposed to do. All of that will come when it’s ready.”
Is Palm Beach Gardens ready to compete for a playoff berth in 2010?
AY: “Everything’s possible, really. Can’t really say. We’ll just have to see.
“We’re a whole lot better. We’re a whole lot stronger. We’re moving forward. We know we’re really capable of doing some good things. Our record will be a whole lot better than it has been. Wait and see.”
What is your favorite activity other than football?
AY: “Fishing. That’s all we do. Since we’ve been able to walk. We started out catching little small fish, but as we got older, we were teaching ourselves how to go get the bigger fish. I just recently caught two sharks, like three miles out. We started out in little ponds, but it started leading out to the Intracoastal on boats.”
How big were those sharks?
AY: “About six feet.”
Can you beat your brother in anything?
AY: “Only thing I could probably beat him at was Playstation. Anything else — I think I need a little more time and then I’ll be able to get him.”
Is it funny to you that you’re being groomed to stop the Willie Youngs of the world? If he stays in the NFL long enough, you might face him some day.
AY: “Honestly, I’m kind of nervous about it. What if we’re both in the NFL and he’s coming at me full speed and I’m going back at him full speed? It’d be crazy.”
You seem mellow for a football player. Are you always like this?
AY: “I’m really easy to get along with. If we don’t get along, something’s wrong with you.”
What was your best game last season?
AY: “I’d say against Jupiter. It was so intense. That game was real fun. The first second of that game to the last second of the game, everything was the same. I didn’t get tired. That game felt real good. I had a couple of highlight plays on there.”