Posted: 4:37 pm Friday, August 5th, 2011

Colleges fishing for Palm Beach Gardens’ Avery Young 

By Matt Porter

Palm Beach Gardens senior Avery Young is patient. He spends much of his free time fishing the ponds, lakes and offshore waters of South Florida, so he’d better be.

“He could tell you where to catch anything you want in this part of Florida,” Gardens coach Chris Davis said.

Like any good angler, Young has no problem waiting for something big to strike. Dozens of BCS college coaches have learned to take that approach in recruiting him.

Young, who measured 6-foot-6 and 284 pounds at Gardens’ preseason weigh-ins and has a wingspan of 84 inches, first fielded Div. I verbal offers in his sophomore year, when colleges coaches flocked to Palm Beach Gardens to get a look at the little brother of NFL defensive end Willie Young Jr.

Entering his senior year as Gardens’ star left tackle, Young has scholarship promises from more than 40 colleges. On Aug. 1 — the first day colleges can extend written (official) offers to seniors — Davis received faxes from Georgia, Miami, Auburn and LSU, among many other schools.

Young, the No. 1 player on the PBGametime preseason Big Board, is the rated by Rivals as a four-star recruit, the No. 38 overall senior in the nation, the 10th-best offensive tackle and the eighth-best player in Florida.

Some Div. I recruits create a buzz by sending text messages about their latest college interest and post a running commentary on Facebook and Twitter. Young doesn’t crave that attention. He’s selective about who gets his cell phone number and Facebook friendship. He doesn’t have a Twitter account. He doesn’t give interviews with recruiting websites.

“He’d rather be going to school, playing football or fishing,” Davis said. “He loves football, loves the camaraderie with the guys. That’s who he is.”

Young, who grew up in Southwest Georgia and moved to Palm Beach County in middle school, was invited to the Under Armour All-America Game and the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, the two nationally televised showcase games in January.

Since the Under Armour game is typically held in Florida and the Army Bowl is in San Antonio, Young chose to accept the Under Armour invite. “He wanted to go to a game where his family could come from all directions and see him,” Davis said.

As fall practices begin Monday, he’s starting to narrow down his college choices, but he’s in no rush to hook on anywhere.

“We’re sitting down and beginning to look at where he’s going to take his visits,” Davis said. According to his coach, Florida, Georgia and Auburn are the schools in which Young expresses the most interest. He will likely take five official visits, but may wait until after the high school season.

Schools like Oregon and Oklahoma are chasing him, but it’s a good bet Young will stay close to home. The fishing’s better around here, anyway.

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