Primetime 23: Soft-spoken Young speaks volumes with play

Published 11:42 am Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Photo by James Covington /Junior defensive end Cameron Young leads what is sure to be a solid defensive front for the Franklin County Bulldogs in 2016.

Photo by James Covington /Junior defensive end Cameron Young leads what is sure to be a solid defensive front for the Franklin County Bulldogs in 2016.

Franklin County’s Cameron Young is not one to waste words.

That was evident after one conversation with him. His Primetime 23 interview was one of the shortest of all.

However, that should not suggest he does not have much to say. On the contrary, he has plenty to say, but he does not use as many words to say what most of us may drag out.

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A bit of a soft-spoken character, Young keeps it short and sweet.  A likely reason for his reserved nature could be that his play on the field speaks loudly enough for him.

Even though he appears reserved, Young says he tries to both lead by example and be a vocal leader on the field.

“I try to do both, but some guys you can talk to and some you just have to go out and show,” he said.

The first team All-Region selection had 75 tackles and nine sacks as a sophomore.

His length and size also allowed him to apply pressure that extended beyond a sack. Young also tallied three pass deflections and recovered two fumbles last season.

The 6-foot-5, 254-pound junior said his most  memorable play came in a 27-8 victory over Port Gibson.

“Coach called a blitz play and the quarterback was there as soon as I got through the hole,” Young said. “I didn’t expect to hit him that hard though.”

Young made a lot of plays like that last year on a stout defense that was spearheaded by the likes of senior linebacker Chris O’ Quinn.

Other highlights of his season include a season high 11-tackle game in a losing effort against Tylertown and two sack games against Wilkinson County and Port Gibson.

Now that Quinn has graduated, the mantle will pass to younger players like Young and fellow defensive lineman La’darius Norman.

“Cameron is loaded with talent. His size and length make it really hard to run at him,” Young’s head coach Trey Woodard said. “We have solid playmakers on defense, so it might be hard for him at times to rack up big numbers but we expect him to do well this year.”

While Coach Woodard simply said Young does everything well for the Bulldogs on the defensive line, Young was more specific about what he felt he did well.

“I think my pass rushing is my best asset, but I could stand to improve on some things like my speed. I’d like to improve my game all around,” he said.

Young also said he wanted to improve his run-stopping game.

Cameron Young

Cameron Young

“I want to see my lateral quickness improve and be able to get up the field quicker this year,” the junior said.

Young also spent a little time lining up at tight end for the Bulldogs last year. He only had one catch to convert two points, but he said he should see more touches this year.

Young also plays basketball for Franklin County. The junior plays center and power forward for the Bulldogs.

When asked which sport he prefers, Young said he enjoyed basketball but that football was easily his favorite.

He added that defensive end was his favorite position.

“When you’re a defensive end, you have to compete every play,” he said. “If you don’t you could give up a big play and cost your team the game,” he said.

Though he prefers the position he often dominates, Young said he would also like to play tight end if he could play anywhere else on the field. He said he felt that he had the catching ability to be successful there.

The junior said his favorite player is New Orleans Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan, but Texans defensive end J.J. Watt is  a player he tries to mold his game after.

“Watt goes out and leaves his heart on the field every play,” Young said. “I wanna be able to do that too.”
Heading into the new season, Young said his goals are to make the All-State team, attain double digit sack, more than 100 tackles and win a state championship.

Other than their rivals, Jefferson County, Young said he is also looking forward to playing district foes Hazlehurst and Wilkinson County.

“Wilkinson is my hometown and those guys talk noise every year,” he said. “That just makes me play harder and want to win even more.”

“I just feel like we owe Hazlehurst too because we lost to them on our home field last season.”

The Primetime 23 list is a compilation of the top 23 players in the area. The next member of the list will be revealed in Thursday’s edition.