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Vols Make Top 5 for In-State Four-Star Target

(Photo via Jesse Smithey/

Tennessee has a need for increased speed at their skill positions moving forward. One of the faster prospects in the 2020 class plays in UT’s own backyard, and he included the Vols in his list of top teams moving forward.

Elijah Young is a four-star athlete who plays for South-Doyle High School in Knoxville. On Tuesday, he tweeted out a video that displayed his top five teams, and Tennessee made the cut along with four other SEC schools. The Vols are joined by Mississippi State, Missouri, South Carolina, and Kentucky.

According to the 247Sports rankings, Young is the No. 317 overall prospect, No. 7 all-purpose back, and No. 10 player in the state of Tennessee. While 247Sports’ own rankings have him as a four-star, Young is a high three-star in their composite rankings, coming in at No. 360 overall.

The 5-foot-9, 180-pound athlete has visited Tennessee multiple times throughout his recruitment. He first got an offer from UT’s previous coaching staff, but the Vols’ current staff has kept in contact with him and has honored that offer. Young visited UT in February of last year and did so again in September when the Vols hosted Florida. He has also visited Alabama and Kentucky.

Young has highly impressive speed, running a 4.5-second flat 40-yard dash time at a regional camp in Nashville for Nike’s The Opening on May 19th. He received an overall Football Rating of 110.19, ranking him in the 99th percentile. It was also a higher score than five-star defensive end Reggie Grimes, four-star defensive end Tyler Baron, and four-star running back Tank Bigsby got at the event.

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While Young primarily played running back as a junior for South-Doyle, he’s played a variety of positions for the Cherokees over the years. He might project better as a slot receiver in college, and he’s played that position as well as defensive back for South-Doyle.

Young has very good vision, and he uses his speed effectively. He’s extremely dangerous in space, and he uses his blend of elusion and awareness to make big plays both on offense and special teams. Young is tougher than he looks, and he isn’t just a scat back. He’ll need to work on his route running if he’s to play receiver in college, and he’ll need to hone some of his technique. Still, he has plenty of play-making ability regardless of what position he ends up playing in college.

As a junior, Young dealt with some minor injury issues and missed three games for the Cherokees. In eight games, he still led the team in rushing with 686 yards and nine touchdowns on 102 carries. He also caught 14 passes for 129 yards. In 12 games as a sophomore, Young ran for 541 yards and four scores on 86 carries and hauled in 31 receptions for 506 yards and four touchdowns.

The Vols have one wide receiver committed to them in their 2020 class, but they don’t have a running back pledged to them yet. Three-star athlete Jimmy Calloway is Tennessee’s lone receiver commitment in the 2020 cycle.

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