Football players Rajion Neal, Devrin Young join track and field roster

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Tennessee Director of Track & Field J.J. Clark announced Friday the addition of three student-athletes to the men’s roster. Current Vol football players Rajion Neal and Devrin Young have joined the sprint corps, and freshman Antonio Carter will run the 800 and 400 meters for the Big Orange.

Neal is with the team this weekend and will begin competition at the Akron Invitational on Saturday. He is expected to run in the 60-meter dash prelims at 12:30 p.m. Young is not on the travel squad this weekend, and Carter is redshirting indoors and won’t make his college debut until the outdoor campaign.

“We are happy to announce these late additions to our track & field team that contribute strength and depth to key areas for us,” Clark said. “Rajion and Devrin will provide additional speed to our sprint group and depth to our relay teams. I look forward to seeing them develop and try to help us on the track this season.

“Antonio has a bright future with us as an 800- and 400-meter runner and with our 4x400m relay. He won’t run indoors for us, but I do look forward to seeing him get going during the outdoor campaign.”

Neal, a 5-11, 210-pound sophomore hails from Fayetteville Ga., and Sandy Creek High School. He had no high school track & field experience, but his speed is impressive. He has been auto-timed at 4.36 seconds in the 40-yard dash.

On the gridiron for the Big Orange, Neal saw action in 11 games while playing receiver, tailback and Wildcat quarterback in 2011. He had 13 catches for 269 yards and carried 27 times for 134 yards and three touchdowns, finishing fourth on the team in receiving yards. Neal posted his first 100-yard receiving game in the season finale vs. Kentucky, hauling in four passes for 125 yards. Included in that total was a 53-yard touchdown reception in the fourth quarter.

Young, a graduate of Knoxville’s Bearden High School, was the 2010 runner-up at the Tennessee AAA State Track & Field Championships with a readout of 10.76 seconds in the 100-meter dash. His best time, though, was a barely wind-aided 10.70 effort in the prelims. He also took sixth in the 200 at 22.38 that season after running a career best of 22.11 in the prelims. Because of his focus on football, he saw limited action on the track for the Bulldogs in 2011.

As a first-year member of the Vol football team, the 5-foot-8, 165-pound Young overcame a fractured right collarbone in late July to aid the squad as a return specialist and situational offensive player. In nine games, he finished third on the team in all-purpose yardage with 756 and was second best for per game average with 84.0. He returned 27 kickoffs for 628 yards, which ranks fifth in UT history, and handled eight punts for 94 yards.

Carter, meanwhile, is a native of Lithonia, Ga., and a graduate of Miller Grove High School. He is a three-time AAU All-American, having earned acclaim in the 800m, 1500m and 4x400m relay with the Track Phi Track club team. A four-time state class AAAA individual scorer, he was runner-up in the 800m and 1600m in 2010, fourth in the 800m in 2011 and sixth in the 800m in 2009. His career bests include 48.95 in the 400m, 1:53.46 in the 800m and 4:00.93 in the 1500m outdoors, and 1:58.90 in the 800m indoors.

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Comments » 20

Voltillyafall writes:

Devrin Young showed quickness on the football field, but not straight-line speed. I am shocked that he runs a sub-11 second 100 meter dash.

Is the track timing incorrect, or is he just not "football fast"?

VOLliven2it writes:

We need both Devrin and Raijon to be football fast come September. GO BIG ORANGE!

Ironcity writes:

in response to Voltillyafall:

Devrin Young showed quickness on the football field, but not straight-line speed. I am shocked that he runs a sub-11 second 100 meter dash.

Is the track timing incorrect, or is he just not "football fast"?

I thought he looked really fast. He just runs smooth.

frblalack writes:

Great news! The Ultimate Athlete is the endurance athlete....this will make these guys much better football players. You can never have too much speed on the football field.

Congratulations to a great group of young men raising the bar...as in Richmond Flowers, Willie Gault, etc. EXTREMELY proud of these extraordinary competitors! Just like Justin Hunter, our best is yet to come!

Go Vols - All Vols - All the Time - VFL!!!!!!!

MothershipChip writes:

Sounds like Carter will be a beast for the track team; anyone know anything about him football wise (like his high school stats etc.)? Another question is was he on the football team this past season and redshirted or did he play and I just missed him?

trgclychip writes:

It will be interesting to see if these young men can help the track team. The men's track team can use all the help it can get. I'm thinking 9th in the SEC indoor. sheesh.

RashaadSalabeb writes:

I would be working towards Neal being the primary back in the backfield this year. He could still catch balls out of the backfield and split out occasionally. No doubt both guys will be a big part of our success this year. Can't wait to watch them this Spring.

Go Big Orange!

SouthPaVol writes:

"When he's even, he's leavin'!" said John Ward of Willie Gault. Sure would like Young, or another of our quick guys, to develop that breakaway speed. It used to make my heart leap when Gault broke into the open, knowing there wasn't anybody in the SEC who could catch him. Thanks Willie Gault for the memories.

BubbaJ writes:

in response to Voltillyafall:

Devrin Young showed quickness on the football field, but not straight-line speed. I am shocked that he runs a sub-11 second 100 meter dash.

Is the track timing incorrect, or is he just not "football fast"?

Those times are correct. Devrin has great speed to go with great footwork. He was a dominating runner on the Bearden track team his Junior year.

allvol32 writes:

You can't teach speed - I'm looking forward to seeing these guys as well as Alton Howard take a few to the house next season.

Huttdawg100 writes:

in response to RashaadSalabeb:

I would be working towards Neal being the primary back in the backfield this year. He could still catch balls out of the backfield and split out occasionally. No doubt both guys will be a big part of our success this year. Can't wait to watch them this Spring.

Go Big Orange!

Good point. Neal should be a premier back in the SEC. I want to see how he blossoms under Jay Graham.

CoverOrange writes:

in response to Voltillyafall:

Devrin Young showed quickness on the football field, but not straight-line speed. I am shocked that he runs a sub-11 second 100 meter dash.

Is the track timing incorrect, or is he just not "football fast"?

Hard to show straight line speed when you have to dodge tacklers after two steps.

VOLSONTHECOMEBACK writes:

in response to Voltillyafall:

Devrin Young showed quickness on the football field, but not straight-line speed. I am shocked that he runs a sub-11 second 100 meter dash.

Is the track timing incorrect, or is he just not "football fast"?

Football fast and track fast are two different things. When Lamarcus Coker was in high school, I was able to keep up with him in the first 40 yards, but after 50 he burned me. The reason why is that he was able to maintain his speed for over 50 yards and actually got faster as the race went on. As for me, I hit my top speed about 30 yards and after 50 regressed. That's how it is for a lot of runners. Just because you can run a 4.4 40, doesn't mean you can run a 10.2 or lower in the 100. Heres an interesting fact, Justin Gatlin who won a gold medal in the 100 meters during the 04 Olympics ran a 9.85 100. They timed him in an electronic 40 and he ran a 4.43. That seems misleading, but the truth is that's how a lot of 100 meter/ 200 meter guys are. They usually will not hit top speed until after 60 meters. On the contrary, a guy like Reggie Bush or Chris Johnson hit top speed after like 3 steps. It's just how you are built and what your running style is. Justin Gatlin would burn Johnson and Bush in a 100, but those guys would probably take him or be neck and neck with him in a 40.In football, I personally would rather have someone who hits top speed after a couple of steps than a guy who has a good 100 time, but a slow 40. Answer me this, how many times do you run more than 50 yards in football? Not very much. However, I'm not discrediting having good top end speed, because that can mean a 50 yard gain or a touchdown. I just think that it's more important, at least in football, baseball, and basketball, to measure kids explosiveness off the line rather than judge a kid off of his 100 time. I think a 60 yard dash is probably the best measurement of both explosiveness and top end speed for athletes.

ProfessionalHandicapper writes:

in response to frblalack:

Great news! The Ultimate Athlete is the endurance athlete....this will make these guys much better football players. You can never have too much speed on the football field.

Congratulations to a great group of young men raising the bar...as in Richmond Flowers, Willie Gault, etc. EXTREMELY proud of these extraordinary competitors! Just like Justin Hunter, our best is yet to come!

Go Vols - All Vols - All the Time - VFL!!!!!!!

You actually mentioned these guys in the same breath as Willie Gualt and Richmond Flowers? And what bar have they raised? Neal has never run track so I doubt he makes much of an instant impact. It's great they are TRYING to run track, but dont mention these guys yet with legends..

jamgod writes:

OFF the beaten path...has any one heard anything about the Bynum (lb) kid. Did he go to Cinci or is he comming to Tenn? Little info would be nice on this!

Bigger_Al writes:

I thought the same thing on Young - quick, but didn't look that fast. Maybe the 40 vs. 100 point is valid. Or maybe he just hasn't had the chance to really show his top speed at UT yet.

FLVOL_79 writes:

in response to ProfessionalHandicapper:

You actually mentioned these guys in the same breath as Willie Gualt and Richmond Flowers? And what bar have they raised? Neal has never run track so I doubt he makes much of an instant impact. It's great they are TRYING to run track, but dont mention these guys yet with legends..

I've seen your videos..its apparent you haven't participated in anything athletic in your entire life..so your obtuse observation is just that, moronic.

seadaddy writes:

in response to jamgod:

OFF the beaten path...has any one heard anything about the Bynum (lb) kid. Did he go to Cinci or is he comming to Tenn? Little info would be nice on this!

If you are waiting on KNS for a update on anything,you will be waiting for a long time.
They are too busy trying to uncover some thing negative about the vols.

clvolfan writes:

in response to VOLliven2it:

We need both Devrin and Raijon to be football fast come September. GO BIG ORANGE!

Is there any training there for the hands?

dillpic writes:

in response to ProfessionalHandicapper:

You actually mentioned these guys in the same breath as Willie Gualt and Richmond Flowers? And what bar have they raised? Neal has never run track so I doubt he makes much of an instant impact. It's great they are TRYING to run track, but dont mention these guys yet with legends..

Have you actually red an article before posting. If these guys play football and track they ARE like Gualt and Flowers because they are 2 sport aathletes. Will they be as successful? We don't know yet., but we do know they aren't TRYING track, they both RAN TRACK in H.S. just like Mr. Gualt and Mr. Flowers.
If ignorance is bliss, you must be the happiest person on Earth.

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