Three days after decommitting from the Houston Cougars, Houston Westfield running back Daniel Young became the second Texas Longhorns pledge on Friday, joining Lake Travis tight end Cade Brewer moments after Brewer’s announcement:
New Texas assistant Corby Meekins coached Young at Westfield before joining Tom Herman’s staff at Houston. After that, Meekins’ brother, Matt, took over that role.
Young pledged to the Cougars in late September over finalists Boise State, Minnesota, and Nebraska. In the immediate wake of the offer from Texas in early December, Young made tentative plans to take an official visit to Texas, though the timing isn’t yet clear.
A consensus three-star prospect, Young is the No. 938 player nationally, the No. 63 running back, and the No. 130 player in the state of Texas, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings.
As a senior, the 6’0, 210-pounder carried the ball 176 times for 1,290 yards and 19 touchdowns. During his sophomore season, he played on defense at linebacker.
When Young attended the Houston The Opening Regional camp this year, he posted a 4.80 40-yard dash, a 4.47 shuttle, and a 34.2-inch vertical leap. His good vertical suggests that with more speed training, he could improve his marks in the 40 and the shuttle.
Watching Young in pads, he plays a little faster than those testing times — he has good initial burst and can run away from high school opponents at the 6A level in a talent-rich city.
More importantly in projecting Young to college, he’s a legitimate 210 pounds and has a good center of gravity, a thickly-built lower body, and the willingness to play behind his pads and punish defenders in the open field.
He can also do some of the little things — there’s a clip of him in pass protection, he keeps the ball high and tight to finish runs, and though he’s not elite in terms of his jump cut or slide cut, he does make nice moves in the hole to crease defenses.
Texas currently holds one running back pledge in the 2017 class from Houston Langham Creek product Toneil Carter, who is now the lightning to Young’s thunder with the former Houston pledge choosing Texas.
With Wylie East product Eno Benjamin set to announce his decision at the US Army All-American game on January 7, there was some pressure on Young to pick the ‘Horns before Benjamin, as there was thought to be only one spot remaining at the position.
Young is now the 11th pledge in the 2017 class for Texas, which now ranks No. 30 nationally and No. 3 in the Big 12, according to the 247Sports Composite rankings.