Bearden running back Devrin Young commits to Vols

Bearden's Devrin Young tries to get past a West defender.

Photo by Saul Young

Bearden's Devrin Young tries to get past a West defender.

Devrin Young

Devrin Young

Even if he tried, Devrin Young couldn’t shake memories from Wednesday.

The University of Tennessee football program thrust the 5-foot-7, 160-pound tailback from Bearden High School to the top spot of its recruiting board with an offer early in the day. What ensued was a deluge of fan, friends, family and media attention for hours.

Placidity returned by day’s end, though. And Young polished off his Wednesday with a little late-night homework before hitting the hay knowing he had committed to play for Tennessee.

One of the more highly acclaimed local prep stars in Knoxville since his 2008 sophomore season, Young became the 16th commitment for the 2011 Tennessee recruiting class.

“I definitely will not forget Sept. 29, 2010, man,” said Young. “Talk about being a star for a day.”

Tennessee head coach Derek Dooley and offensive coordinator Jim Chaney handled Young’s recruitment, which didn’t heat up until late last week.

Tennessee offered him during his second-block class Wednesday morning. Young needed only a few hours to contemplate the offer, and he issued Tennessee his pledge after practice and after meeting with his family.

“It’s going to be fun (at Tennessee),” he said. “Me and my mom were talking, that maybe it would re-unite the Tennessee fans, because they’ll feel like they’ll have someone to call their own once again.

“It’s just fun to know there are a lot of people on my side. I thank God.”

Young’s athleticism is second to none in East Tennessee. He was runner-up in the 100-meter dash at the 2010 Class AAA state track meet, losing by 0.01 seconds.

Explosive lateral movements and power complement Young’s north-and-south speed. Quickness and juking ability mask what he lacks in size.

Maryville High School football coach George Quarles, who has won seven state titles in the last 10 years, said in 2009 that Young “may be the most explosive guy I’ve seen on this (Maryville) field.” That field has seen the likes of former Alcoa star and current Kentucky junior wideout Randall Cobb.

Young is living up to the hype this season, rushing for 1,006 yards and 15 touchdowns on just 57 carries. He’s scored on two receptions, as well.

But he may be utilized initially at Tennessee in the special teams department. He has returned three of his six kickoffs for scores for Class 6A Bearden (5-0), averaging 52 yards per attempt.

“They want me to do special teams,” said Young. “And they want to use me a little bit at receiver, at running back and a little bit at slot. That’s A-OK with me.”

Stanford jumped on Young first, extending a scholarship offer early during his junior season. But Stanford received commitments from other tailbacks, leaving Young looking for other options.

Carson-Newman offered Young, as Division I programs mulled over whether Young’s size would be an issue.

Mississippi State recently requested film from the Bearden coaching staff, but Tennessee swooped in Wednesday.

“In the back of my mind, I’m thinking, ‘I can play Division I,’ ” said Young. “I just needed that one coach to give me a chance and that opportunity, to overlook my size and see what I bring to the table. Thank God that happened.”

Punter Britton Colquitt (2005-2008) was the last Bearden player to accept a scholarship offer to Tennessee.

Young was the News Sentinel’s 2008 PrepXtra sophomore of the year and the 2009 KIL offensive player of the year.

“First thing out of my mouth (after getting offered) was, ‘Thank you, Jesus. Thank you, God,’ ” he said. “It’s just a huge, huge relief. I can put the worry and doubt behind me now and just strive to finish up my senior year strong and look forward to playing in the SEC.”

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Comments » 131

SwagVol writes:

Welcome Home! Prove the haters wrong. Go Vols!

ChattaVol1 writes:

Congratulations, you will be happy you chose to be a VOL!!!!

thevoice writes:

Looks like the young man shed an inch and five pounds since the UT offer (Wednesday morning). Regardless, welcome to UT.

The7Maxims writes:

Amen Brother!

no1volman writes:

Maybe he can be our Randall Cobb

AppreciativeAlum writes:

Exactly what this team needs: Fast, decisive, smart.

dvols writes:

liking the new recruiting class!

nicknack1 writes:

I've seen this guy play a few times and let me tell you, he is pretty dang fast and tough. I can't wait to see what he can do

Down_The_Field writes:

welcome to the hill young man.

IBleedOrange444 writes:

Congrats Devrin!

tnsportsman writes:

Welcome Davrin to the BIG ORANGE! Good have some Tennesseans that grew up on Tennessee Traditions! You will do great at UT.

GO VOLS, WE ARE UT!

MOOREVOLS writes:

I've seen this guy play and he could be our starting punt and kick returner now. This is great.

PrimeTime writes:

To all the haters out there that will bash the coaching staff for offering this kid because he is too small. Have you ever heard of Trindon Holliday. Yeah, that guy that played for LSU, he was impossible to tackle on kickoffs and punts. He did plenty of damage in the SEC and big time college football. I for one and glad to have you Devrin, GO VOLS!!!

HallowedHill writes:

Great news!

Go Vols!

givehim6 writes:

Whats good for the young man is by the time he get holed the ball he will have a experience O-line to open holes for him.

Hillbilly_Orange writes:

Welcome Mr Young! GBO!!

runninbroke writes:

uh, 20 yards a carry... Super fast, smart, and athletic... Yea, I think we can use him!! Congrats young man. You will make a difference.

BigOrangeinCharge writes:

It's good to see that UT finally has a coach who doesn't just farm out the talent scouting to Scout and Rivals and actually looks at the talent that's right in UT's backyard.

I don't care how many stars he has, the kid can flat out fly and he's averaging over 17.5 yards rushing on 57 carries. That's not a fluke, that's SUPERHUMAN! A truly AMAZING stat!

This guy's a gamebreaker! A smaller version of Reggie Bush, minus all the crooked dealings with agents and stuff.

Cue the trolls to dump on his star ranking in 3...2...1...

BigOrangeinCharge writes:

Seriously, this kid looks like Reggie Bush did coming out of High School. He's a little smaller than Bush was, but he's got a similar style and ability. He shakes off tacklers surprisingly well for such a small guy. I think he'll be great as a return man and maybe a slot receiver who gets the ball on speed sweeps and short routes.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=owXBOw...

FWBVol writes:

This is the type of kid Urban has been recruiting and winning with at Florida for years. A smallish sprinter that can make people miss in space.

Yes, big backs that can teake it between the tackles are important, but we have all seen UT burned by the little guys. It's nice to have a little guy in the Big Orange.

Vol4Life03 writes:

he is a good returner and that is what we need the most. somebody who can flip the field in the matter of seconds cant wait to c him on the field GO VOLS

CarthageVol writes:

I see nothing wrong with his size. I think that makes him harder to find. I like it personally. Don't be surprised to see 4-5 touches a game next year. If anything, punt/kickoff returner. GREAT pickup!!!!

bearbull95#206250 writes:

With as much emphasis as special teams has meant to Dooley's philosophy, particularly when he was with Saban at LSU, where it was drilled heavily, it's not surprising CDD would go after this kid. He will be a perfect fit. We are now going to be able to give those teams with fleet and athletic returners who have burned us in the past, a dose of their own medicine.

jzt writes:

Can't go wrong, love to have a kid that wants to come to UT this bad. There is no doubt this kid will have a successful career at UT.

BufordTJustice writes:

Sounds like a really good kid. Great for a hometown guy to love his hometown team and get to live the dream.

xtremevol writes:

now we need the massengill kid from Bradley County...this kid is a bruising runner!!!

Slystone writes:

We loved it when Kiffin brought in NuKeese so why would anyone have an issue with a talented kid like this? Wish him well and from what I can see he wants to be a Vol, not just play for a Coach.

BigOrangeinCharge writes:

So does anybody wonder how CDD will use him? In the highlights on youube, Young was always taking it to the house off counters and pitches to the outside against a spread out defense--I don't think I ever saw him run inside once. CDD's pro-style offense seems to favor bigger WRs and RBs who make their living between the tackles on straight up handoffs.

I love his talent and I'm glad to have him, but I worry about how they'll incorporate him into the offense. He looks perfect for a Florida style spread where he'd be pitchman on the option and get a lot of speed sweeps and reverses, but UT doesn't do that.

Young's a great talent, though. If he doesn't run the ball, I suppose they'll put him at CB or use him as a return specialist.

Razor784 writes:

Great news, we need speed

The7Maxims writes:

in response to FirstAndGoal:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

Honestly, these types of backs are going to be in high demand pretty soon. Not too long ago, most NFL teams sought out guys like Eddie George, Jerome Bettis, Frank Gore, etc. Now, teams have a running back "committee": you got a power guy like Mark Ingram and a slasher guy like Chris Johnson. CJ is highly coveted these days. I'm not calling this guy the next Chris Johnson, but if he can bring a slashing explosiveness to our offense, we need him. Thanks for the film.

HoustonVol writes:

It is hard to believe that someone from Bearden is actually good enough to play at UT. When I was in school we were losing to Faragut 75-7 and were lucky to win five games in two years, much less be 5-0. Glad to have you as a Vol young man.

slipshuck writes:

good catch dd......

Timed_vol (Inactive) writes:

Couple of things:
1) be careful how the kid hits the weights. get too ripped, and the flexibility goes.
2) yet another player signed to fill a role

I'm cautiously optimistic on what CDD is doing: getting some star players and mixing in role players. It makes sense from a logic standpoint...look back over UT for the last 20 years...how many of those kids barely contributed anything, yet where 'top recruits'??

A different example: University of Iowa;

I know, I know, Big 10 nonsense. But, fact is, U of I plays SEC teams hard, and puts players in the pros. How many of those kids are 4 or 5 star players?? Not many.

SECProudUT writes:

Welcome to the Vols Devrin, I am so glad that the coaching staff offered you. I have no doubt that was a proud moment for you. I for one am so happy you said yes and glad you are a Volunteer. I wish you the best of luck.

ClassicVol (Inactive) writes:

I've heard of Devrin but this is the first video i've seen of him. He could be the most explosive return man i've seen at UT in years.

“First thing out of my mouth (after getting offered) was, ‘Thank you, Jesus. Thank you, God,’ ”

I like it!

DownTheField writes:

in response to givehim6:

Whats good for the young man is by the time he get holed the ball he will have a experience O-line to open holes for him.

"Whats good for the young man is by the time he get holed the ball he will have a experience O-line to open holds for him."

fyp

NoogaVol55 writes:

in response to BigOrangeinCharge:

It's good to see that UT finally has a coach who doesn't just farm out the talent scouting to Scout and Rivals and actually looks at the talent that's right in UT's backyard.

I don't care how many stars he has, the kid can flat out fly and he's averaging over 17.5 yards rushing on 57 carries. That's not a fluke, that's SUPERHUMAN! A truly AMAZING stat!

This guy's a gamebreaker! A smaller version of Reggie Bush, minus all the crooked dealings with agents and stuff.

Cue the trolls to dump on his star ranking in 3...2...1...

I like the passion, but I think you might need a reality check. For one, no college coach bases their recruiting solely off of Scout & Rivals...at least no college coach who still currently holds a job. And to compare him already to a smaller version of Reggie Bush???? C'mon, you may not like Reggie Bush but he is one of the best college football players to ever play. It is premature to say that D. Young will even be half the "on field" football player Reggie was. He has potential and I hope he is a diamond in the rough, but it does concern me that he choose us over Carson Newman. Just sayin...

plumcreekfarm#234902 writes:

Now get down to Greeneville and have a look at William Carmichael.

ATLVOL55 writes:

WOW!! I just watched the film on him and this kid is a stud. I follow recruiting a lot and have watched film of Bryce Brown, Marcus Lattimore, Gerald Riggs, and many others...this kid would be a 5 star recruit if he was playing at a big school in Florida or Georgia...

Not only is he flying past people; he has great vision...reminds me of Dexter McCluster from Ole Miss...a 2 star recruit coming out of high school...I have been wanting TN to get a guy like this...THIS KID WILL BE A STUD!

vol88 writes:

Did anybody else do the math? That's 17.6 yards per carry.

Good Luck, young man! GBO!

OTPVol writes:

in response to BamaMan:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I think if I were a Bama fan, my worry list would look like:

1. Florida,
2. Auburn
3. The rest of this season
4. Keeping Nick
.
.
.
1,000,000: The rest of the decade.

Welcome to UT young man! Always like those local boys.

Digital5000 writes:

Welcome aboard son; you’re going to look great in orange. Stay hungry and work on taking 'em to the house.

17.65yds per carry this season. Holy s**t. lol, you freak. I like it.

-Enjoy Yourselves

jbc89 writes:

"Young’s athleticism is second to none in East Tennessee. He was runner-up in the 100-meter dash at the 2010 Class AAA state track meet, losing by 0.01 seconds."

His athleticism is clearly second to whoever he lost to in the race. I feel like this site doesn't have an editor sometimes. It just makes us look bad..

Bearwuzacheater writes:

in response to BamaMan:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

we understand your apprehension. with the NCAA watching the whole SEC closely, it's tough cheering for the school that has always led the country with having the most and best players MONEY CAN BUY! (how did y'all miss out so big on Reggie Bush?)

TNLawVol writes:

Congratulations Devrin. Look forward to seeing you in the orange and white. Any chance he could graduate early and make spring practice?

richvol writes:

I hope that he doesn't gain too much weight...it ruins quick running backs.

BigBadVol writes:

Welcome young man! It's great to have you as a Vol!

NoMoreWooAfterGoodOleRockyTop writes:

Great story. Smart move CDD.

wctnvolfan writes:

Welcome Devrin!!!! Glad you're here!!!!!

Neyland writes:

Devrin, welcome to UT. Dont let anyone down you about your size. Just remember or do some research on a young man named Travis Stevens from Clarksville that played at UT. He was a great running back for us. He was about your size and had similar skills that you have. Work hard in the classroom and on the feild and I'll be backing you 100%. Good luck and hope to see you on the feild as a freshman returning kicks and punts for tds. GO VOLS!!!!!!!!

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