Avery Young has the Gators on his mind — literally.
The Palm Beach Gardens offensive tackle sees himself playing for the University of Florida every time he straps on his high school helmet.
He can’t help it.
“I think about it every day,” Young said. “I really do. Just looking at the helmet and knowing it’s the same thing as UF, it’s crazy.”
Crazy because, well, it just might happen.
Young, 6-foot-6 and 275 pounds, is one of the top OL prospects and a member of the Rivals 100, which was released Monday. Since his recruitment began, the Gators have always been one of his favorites and are currently in his top three.
Before his summer visit to Miami (the day before the scandal broke), UF was the only school Young had visited. He attended Junior Day and the spring game. He also made it to Gainesville when Urban Meyer and Co. were in town.
He said the personalities of the two staffs are totally opposite, the team is run differently and the offense is now a more balanced attack.
So far, everything Young has heard from the new coaches “sounded good.” Now he’s ready to see the results on Saturdays.
“I just wanna see how they coach on game day,” said Young, who said he plans to be in The Swamp sometime this season. “If they’re losing bad and times get hard, I wanna see how they work with the team and make changes from the first half.”
Young will also be taking visits to his other top schools, Georgia and Auburn.
“I don’t know too much about (Georgia), but I had a cousin who played for them and everything went well. It’s just a good place to be at,” he said. “And Auburn, I’m learning a lot about them too. I got a cousin that committed and will be playing tight end for them this year.”
Young said his family ties to both schools will be helpful in his decision-making process.
“Since I have family there, it’ll help me learn what I need to know about those schools,” Young said. “Because certain people probably wouldn’t tell me the truth, but having family in the mix, I’ll get the truth from them.”
The talented left tackle plans on committing after his senior year and official visits to all three schools, which he called “neutral.”
The most important thing for Young is finding a college where he fits.
“Once I take my real visits, I’ll just be looking for where I feel at home and comfortable,” he said.
Young has recently found comfort in his injured knee. In 2010, he suffered damage to his left meniscus and was forced to miss the spring game.
After getting his knee scoped in July, multiple reports said that Young would miss the first two to three games this year.
That’s no longer the case.
“I’m back,” said Young, who will play in the season-opener. “I’m running full speed and doing contact in practice, everything’s going good. It’s like nothing ever happened.”