Personal note: I have a ridiculous goofy smile in my USF graduation photo, because president Betty Castor surprised me by saying something genuinely funny. I was the very last person of what seemed like three million to walk across the Sun Dome stage that day in 1996. When I finally got there, and turned to the camera, and reached to shake her hand, she said to me, "Boy, am I glad to see you." Click.
After 99 endless days of waiting for football season to start, and tirelessly profiling every player on the roster, I now know how she felt.
Let's meet our last, but certainly not our least, player. And boy, are we glad to see you.
#1 S Jerrell Young
Stats In 2010: This.
Of course, that's a clip of Young's interception with 12 seconds left in regulation against Miami. It pretty much sealed USF's first victory against the Canes, because #YouDoNotTakeSouthFloridaToOvertime. The loss ended the career of coach Randy Shannon, and, possibly, quarterback Jacory Harris. So Jerrell Young made a play that not only gave a school its first win over an in-state rival, but could haunt two people for life. As college football legacies go, that's not bad.
But a season is more than one play, and here's what Young did the rest of the way: played in 12 games, starting 11, missing Syracuse due to an ankle injury and not starting against Louisville. Had a team-leading three interceptions, including the one at Miami, plus three more passes defended. Had 41 tackles (26 unassisted), 1.5 for loss.
Current Position On Depth Chart: Starting free safety on the Notre Dame depth chart. When healthy, Young has pretty much been a starter at safety since the MagicJack St. Petersburg Bowl against Memphis. Which seems a lot longer ago than it really is.
How He Came To USF: From Gibbs High in St. Petersburg in 2007, where he participated in football, basketball, and track. Also had offers from Auburn, Michigan State, UCF, and FAU.
Projected Playing Time In 2011: As with yesterday's subject Quenton Washington, Young is a fifth-year senior starter in the secondary who needs to play well if USF is to fulfill our lofty prediction for this season. Which we're still sticking with, by the way. (In our defense, we totally thought Bill Stewart was going to coach West Virginia this season.)