Nine days after losing an offensive line commitment, the University of Kentucky football program picked up a bigger one.
John Young, a 6-foot-6, 280-pound offensive tackle who plays for Christian Academy of Louisville, committed to the Wildcats on Sunday night. Young is considered a four-star prospect by 247Sports, which tabs him as the state’s No. 4 player and the 28th-best offensive tackle in the class of 2020.
Young joined Lamar Goods — a four-star defensive tackle who picked the Cats earlier this month — as UK’s only 2020 commitments. Richie Leonard, a 6-foot-3, three-star offensive guard out of Florida, decommitted from UK on April 19 and seems poised to remain in his home state. Gerald Mincey, a three-star tackle also out of Florida, decommitted in March.
It doesn’t sound like that will happen with Young, who wrote in a tweet announcing his decision that he was shutting down his recruitment.
“I am so excited to be a part of the BBN family and begin building something special with this class,” Young wrote.
He visited UK over the weekend, and selected the school from a final six that also included Georgia, Louisville, Michigan, Ohio State and Purdue. Young knew going into his final visit that UK was where he wanted to be, and used that trip to affirm that decision.
“It did just feel like home when I stepped on campus the first time my sophomore year,” Young told the Herald-Leader. “Getting to talk with all the o-line just confirmed it for me, and to sit down with all the coaches, of course. At the end of the day it was for sure the best fit for me.”
Bill Greene, an analyst for 247 Sports, believes Young projects as a “nasty” right tackle at the next level.
“He’s more of a physical, beat’em up kind of guy than he is an athletic kind of guy,” Greene said. “But you also like the fact, when you watch his film, he finishes blocks. He really plays to the whistle, maybe a little bit past the whistle. He’s nasty, super aggressive. I like the program he plays in. He’s used to winning and expects to win, and knows how to pay the price to win.”
The offensive line group is one of UK’s deepest positions heading into the fall and projects to continue being so into the future; its only 2020 seniors are Logan Stenberg and Mason Wolfe. Young could play right away if called upon, Greene said, and could get an opportunity to demonstrate his abilities even if he redshirts thanks to the four-game rule that went into effect last season.
Young’s used to being called upon early: he has played at CAL since his freshman season, at the end of which the Centurions won their first state title in school history. CAL did one better in 2018, going undefeated on its way to another championship.
Kentucky’s own recent brushes with big-time success helped its case.
“I think a corner has been turned there at Kentucky and I think there’s a lot there for him to like,” Greene said. “He can see what they’re doing with that o-line. And I’m sure the kid wants to play in the NFL some day. You saw a bunch of guys this weekend get drafted out of that program, so I think there’s a lot to like there.”