For coaches, reporters and fans alike, recruiting is one of those things that keeps you on your toes.
Take the recruitment of Erick Young for example.
Young, one of the top cornerbacks in the class of 2019, put out his top three schools — USC, Ohio State and Oklahoma — on Tuesday. On Wednesday, Young announced his commitment to Texas A&M.
Yes, you read that correctly.
— Erick Young ⁴ (@Fvmous_ey) July 4, 2018
A&M has been the favorite to land Young
Young is a native of Richmond, Texas, and the Texas A&M staff has been all over him since Jimbo Fisher arrived from Florida State in December. So when Young dropped that top three list on Tuesday that didn’t include the in-state Aggies, most folks in the recruiting world were left scratching their heads.
But it was part of the plan all along for Young, who has been a standout performer at the finals of The Opening, Nike’s elite football camp, this week. Young explained to Rivals.com that he was trying to throw a little curveball out there before making his announcement on July 4. He even wore a USC jacket on Tuesday.
Just talked to A&M target Erick Young who announces his commitment tomorrow. Wearing a USC jacket and says he has made his decision. Will release the decision on Twitter tomorrow afternoon. pic.twitter.com/Z9dRcEH5g0
— Ryan MacDonald (@Ryan_Macdonald2) July 3, 2018
“It was all part of the plan,” Young told Rivals.com. “It was a little too obvious at first, so I had to do some things to keep everyone on their toes … Everyone [at The Opening] had been saying I was looking like I was going to USC or Ohio State for some reason.”
Young’s recruitment came down to Texas A&M and USC
Young took an official visit to USC in late June. He admitted that the Trojans closed the gap with that visit, but, in the end, one factor gave Texas A&M the edge over USC: distance. Young told Rivals that he held the Aggies and Trojans in high esteem, but the proximity of College Station to his hometown — Richmond is less than two hours south of A&M’s campus — sealed the deal for the Aggies.
Although Young knew in his head that A&M was feeling like the move for him, the race between the Aggies and Trojans was much closer than many may have thought. Despite A&M being the presumptive leader for much of his recruitment, that recent official visit to USC definitely made the decision that much more difficult.
“[USC] an A&M are basically the same,” he said. “I felt the same about them, but it came down to the distance.”
What will Young bring to the Texas A&M defense?
Young has been rising up the Rivals.com recruiting rankings. Currently, the 6-foot-1, 195-pound corner is up to No. 29 nationally. A four-star prospect, he is considered the fourth-best cornerback in the country and the fifth-best prospect from the state of Texas.
Young’s pledge brings A&M up to 21 total commitments in the 2019 class. He is one of four in the Rivals top 100, all of which are from Texas, joining five-star lineman Kenyon Green (No. 12), four-star safeties Brian Williams (No. 30) and Demani Richardson (No. 86). Of A&M’s 21 commits, 15 are from Texas.
Here’s what Young can do on the field:
More from Yahoo Sports:
• Jason Pierre-Paul shares horrific photo reminding people to stay safe on July 4th
• Ex-wrestler claims Rep. Jim Jordan witnessed lewd shower acts at OSU
• Report: Raiders CB sues woman who accused him of rape
• Ranking Carlos Gomez’s dugout meltdown among the other great ones