Cornerback Malek Young is a solid commitment to Georgia. How solid? The rising senior plans to bring something special to UGA’s elite “Dawg Night” prospect camp that few other recruits can match.
Young will have a pair of 4-star teammates from Florida’s Coconut Creek High School in tow on July 18. Trayvon Mullen is rated the No. 4 cornerback in the country by the 247sports composite. Binjimin Victor – a raw 6-foot-4 receiver — is No. 10 at his position on that same scale. Those two are hyper-athletic. They’ve been known to spontaneously back-flip across the field during 7-on-7 camps this summer.
“Georgia is already in that top group for Binjimin,” Coconut Creek coach Kareem Reid told the AJC. “They’ve got some work to do with Trayvon because they kind of picked up his recruiting later in the game than some other schools did. But they have an opportunity to close ground with a great coach like (Jeremy) Pruitt. He’s a great DBs coach and then obviously their teammate Malek is going. Those are two big things Georgia has in their favor.”
Young said he won’t force UGA on his teammates, but will make sure to nail his role as tour guide.
“I’ll tell them about the facilities and the tradition at Georgia,” he said. “I will tell them a lot about how the coaches feel like family. I want them to take all of that in and make their own choice. I just want to get them up there and see if they can feel at home and feel as welcomed as I feel. They just need to see Georgia and take it from there.”
He’s already got a strategy.
“I’ll tell them to talk to the coaches but the main thing is to go talk to the players,” Young said. “That’s what I did. I spent some time talking to Isaiah McKenzie about what it was like to be at Georgia. He gave it to me straight. He said they have great coaches. He said it is different at Georgia. He said the Georgia program will soon feel like your family.”
That trio is all going to the U.S. Army All-American Bowl in January. Young said the Bulldogs have a shot at adding at least one more of his teammates. Its an unlikely scenario, but Reid didn’t dismiss the fact all three could end up at UGA.
“It could possibly happen,” Reid said. “That’s something they have definitely talked about, but at the same time they have talked about going to the best place for each of them individually. But if there’s a place that needs two great DBs and a great receiver, then that might be a fit.”
Mullen said Florida State and LSU are his co-leaders. Auburn, Clemson and Florida State are also in the top group. The 6-foot-2, 170-pounder told the AJC that UGA is at least in his Top 10. He even placed them among the seven or eight schools he really needs to see. Florida State and LSU are schools that will get official visits. Oregon will be another, he said.
Young said he’s been told by Pruitt that he will likely at least contribute on special teams once he arrives next summer. The 5-foot-10, 175-pounder is rated a three-star by that 247 composite and is being recruited as a cornerback. His coach said he’s clocked a 4.37 in the 40-yard dash this summer.
“He’s a super-talented athlete but because he plays in South Florida and there are so many good players he’s not as valued as he would be if he played somewhere else,” Reid said. “He would be at least a four-star or five-star kid if he played in Georgia or South Carolina. … He’s super physical and so explosive. He’s really strong. I think he’s going to come in and contribute right away because his body is college ready. He lives in the weight room and is fast and explosive. I think that Georgia is getting a huge steal. This kid already looks the part of an SEC cornerback.”
“I’m going to play as a freshman at Georgia,” Young said. “I am going to work my way and do whatever it takes to get on the field as a freshman.”
How did he wind up committing to UGA? That road ran through Tallahassee.
“Young has a relationship with Coach Jeremy Pruitt,” Reid. “That dates back to his Florida State days. Coach Pruitt has been recruiting him since he was a sophomore and that’s why he’s so comfortable with him.”
Young said he is already fully qualified. He scored a 23 on his ACT and will study either sports management or sports medicine in Athens. He said he’s extremely tight with defensive graduate assistant George Helow at Georgia. He’s also known him since he was a sophomore.
Jeff Sentell covers UGA recruiting for AJC.com and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Follow him on Twitter for the latest on who’s on their way to play Between the Hedges.