Are you for armed guards at schools?|
Story Archives: Young competed at LSU, Ole Miss
- 2013 - 285 articles
- 2012 - 856 articles
- 2011 - 635 articles
- 2010 - 1276 articles
- 2009 - 1591 articles
- December 2009 - 147 articles
- November 2009 - 140 articles
- October 2009 - 168 articles
- September 2009 - 128 articles
- August 2009 - 109 articles
- July 2009 - 144 articles
- July 30th, 2009 (Thursday) - 16 articles
- July 29th, 2009 (Wednesday) - 14 articles
- July 23rd, 2009 (Thursday) - 11 articles
- July 22nd, 2009 (Wednesday) - 18 articles
- July 16th, 2009 (Thursday) - 23 articles
- July 15th, 2009 (Wednesday) - 14 articles
- July 9th, 2009 (Thursday) - 9 articles
- July 8th, 2009 (Wednesday) - 12 articles
- July 2nd, 2009 (Thursday) - 18 articles
- July 1st, 2009 (Wednesday) - 9 articles
- June 2009 - 106 articles
- May 2009 - 115 articles
- April 2009 - 157 articles
- March 2009 - 126 articles
- February 2009 - 132 articles
- January 2009 - 119 articles
- 2008 - 1763 articles
|Young competed at LSU, Ole Miss|
Regrets, I've had a few,
But then again, too few to mention
I did what I had to do
And I saw it through without exemption
I did it my way
Casey Young of Ferriday has just a couple of regrets when it comes to a collegiate football career that may be known more for what he said than what he did.
"Things got a little eskewed." Young said. "I try not to have too many regrets, but if I could do anything over I would have stayed at Ole Miss and tried to run track and field. Staying at Ole Miss would be my only do-over."
Young also regrets an incident in the summer of 1988 when he left the Ole Miss football team after not being offered a scholarship and transferred to LSU.
"Coach (Billy) Brewer and I jousted a little bit and it got in the paper," Young said. "I had reporters calling me from all over and then it ended up in the USA Today. I said some things I should have just thought and not said out loud."
Young sat out the 1987 season as a redshirt freshman walk-on as Kevin Hurt handled the Rebel punting chores. He did compete on the Ole Miss scout team during his red-shirt year.
"I was on the scout team as a tight end and that was a lot of fun," Young said. "Coach (James) Thomas really wanted me to play tight end. I was working with Wesley Walls and going up against Jeff Herrod."
But then-Ole Miss punting coach Ray Pelfrey, who is founder of Professional Kicking Services, Inc., wasn't about to give up Young. Pelfrey, considered one of the top punting coaches in the nation, took Young to several camps all over the country.
"Young will be punting in the NFL in three years," Pelfrey told the Ole Miss Spirit in March of 1988. "He's going to come into spring practice at Mississippi and easily win that job and he's going to be their next All-American."
But things soured when Young wasn't offered the scholarship. Young transferred to LSU and told the Natchez Democrat in its August 4, 1988 edition, "I went up there with a deal with Coach Brewer because they were on probation and their scholarships were cut. He told me if I did well and proved myself, they'd put me on a scholarship in the spring."
Young said he went into spring practice and came out listed as the No. 1 punter.
"And they didn't offer me a scholarship," Young was quoted as saying. "I felt like I held up my end of the deal and they didn't. They went back on their word. I felt like I got the short end of the stick, like I got a raw deal."
Those comments were picked up from other papers across Mississippi and in the USA Today.
Brewer was quoted in the August 5, 1988 Democrat as denying he made those statements.
"He (Young) hasn't proved himself on the field," Brewer stated in the newspaper. "He was in the kicking rotation every day and had every opportunity to prove himself. His being listed as first team on the depth chart was an error on the SID's (Sports Information Director) part. He just wasn't consistent enough."
Young talked with then-LSU coach Mike Archer and made the same deal regarding earning a scholarship.
Young, 42, said he saw Brewer at an Ole Miss spring football game in 1992.
"We shook hands when I visited with him and we laughed about it," Young said.
Young eventually left LSU and attended mortuary school in Houston, graduating from Commonwealth Institute of Funeral Service in 1995. He now serves as Operations Manager and Funeral Director at Young's Funeral Home in Ferriday, Vidalia and Jonesville.
"When I got down to LSU it was different and I had a lot of distractions," Young said. "It was more like a business at LSU. You have to have your head screwed on right. The coaches were different and I just wasn't able to adjust. Ole Miss was more like a family. You have to work hard all year long in college and be committed. You find out that everything is measurable."
Making an unpopular decision was something Young had experienced at an earlier age. After his freshman year at Huntington School, he transferred to Adams County Christian School in Natchez. The Rebels won the state championship in football in 1982.
"It was pretty tough," Young said. "I had some friends with hurt feelings, but I had to follow my heart. We had a lot of fun at ACCS. There was a good group of guys and a great group of coaches."
ACCS head coach Bobby Marks said everyone thought he recruited Young, but the Ferriday youngster came on his own.
"Casey was very easy to coach," Marks said.
Young played tight end, punted and kicked for AC.
He earned the Golden Helmet Award as a senior in 1986 and was named Most Valuable Defensive Player of the team.
Young played defensive end in the Mississippi Private School Association All-Star Game and collected three quarterback sacks in the contest.
Young was also named to the All-Metro team two straight years as a punter. South Natchez's Paige Herring, who went on to kick at Co-Lin and then walked on at the University of Florida, was the kicker.
Other ACCS players on the team were return specialist David King, who returned three kicks for touchdowns in 1986, quarteback Lyn Ensminger, Derek Daye and Jeff McCrainie.
Cathedral's Michael Richardson was Player of the Year, while Russell Johnson of North Natchez was named top defensive player. Vidalia head football coach Gary Paul Parnham was an offensive lineman on the team.
As good as Young was on the football field, he was just as impressive on the track, winning three state titles in the high jump and three in the high hurdles.
"I've only had two people run in the 14s in the hurdles and that was Russell Wagoner (at Ferriday High) and Casey," Marks said.
Young approached Marks about running track his sophomore year.
"I was working with some hurdlers, we had two or three state champions who had graduated," Marks said. "Casey told me, 'Coach, I believe I can run those things.' I put the hurdles on the edge of the football field because if he busted his tail I knew it wouldn't hurt as bad. He ran them with no problem. I put them on the track and timed him. He never lost in a meet and went on to win three straight state championships."
Young will never forget Marks' first instructions on running the hurdles.
"He asked me if I ever saw a dog go up to a fire hydrant, hike up his leg and raise his arm," Young said. "Well, that's how you go up to the hurdles. After I ran them, Coach Marks said, 'You just three-stepped' (taking three steps between hurdles). I said, 'Yes sir.' He said, 'That's really good.'"
"I told Casey if he couldn't keep it to three steps than we weren't even going to bother with him," Marks said. "But it came natural to him. And he had never been pushed before."
Young won the high hurdles his senior year with a time of 14.8. He won the high jump with a leap of 6-feet, 4 inches.
I fell in love with it," Young said of track and field. "It's something I could do by myself where I controlled my own destiny."
King, the head football and boys basketball coach at Trinity Episcopal, played football and basketball alongside Young at ACCS and was a track teammate, running with Young on relay events.
King graduated the same year as Young and now coaches rising sophomore Peyton Young, one of Casey and Laurie Young's four children.
"Casey was a big, strong, fast athlete," King said. "I always thought he should have concentrated on a position instead of punting, which was his dream. But he was good enough to play tight end somewhere in the SEC. I think Casey would tell you the same thing, if he would have worked as hard as Peyton works, he would have been in the pros," King said.
That's something Casey Young still thinks about.
"Oh sure, I'll watch NFL games and think, 'Hey, I could do that,' Young said. "But I don't dwell on that kind of thing. I'm certainly happy where I am."
As for the whole college experience, King understands Young's dilemma back then.
"The network of recruiting was so different back then," King said. "Casey was tugged a lot of different ways. And the information was not what it is today. Back then you couldn't get anybody to watch private school games. Casey was actually one of the first."
Young said he grew up loving to kick the football.
"I competed in the Punt, Pass & Kick competitions as a kid," said Young, who would help organize those competitions later in Ferriday. "They were a lot of fun."
At ACCS, Rebel assistant coach Charles Kennedy worked with Young on punting.
"He always kept an eye on me," Young said.
Young said punting is a lot like swinging a golf club.
"Everything is really basic," he said. "In golf, you take your club and hit the ball. In football, you take your foot and hit the ball. It all depends on minute details. If you hit the golf ball wrong, it's going off to the left or right. Same with kicking a football."
According to Marks, there were very few times Young hit the football wrong.
"There is no doubt in my mind that Casey would have gone pro after four years at Ole Miss," Marks said. "He was right on Gerald Vaught's track."
Vaught played football for Marks at Huntington before signing with Mississippi State. He made the Los Angeles Rams roster, but while punting in an exhibition game, went down to field a low snap and was hit by Alan Page, separating his shoulder and ending his NFL career.
"Casey could boom them," Marks said. "He always punted real well, but one night in Jackson against Jackson Prep, he had a 67-yarder, 64-yarder and 61-yarder and he hit them all high. I think that's when Ole Miss noticed him. But he was booming them all the time."
Young said he was actually looking at Mississippi State when he was a sophomore at ACCS.
"They had contacted me early and then by my senior year most of the schools in the SEC along with Southern Mississippi, Memphis, Tulane and East Carolina were contacting me," Young said.
Kentucky was also courting Young as a linebacker.
"That was a surprise to me," Young said. "Kentucky was a fun place, but they were just too far away."
State lost interest, but all the other schools continued pursuing the ACCS star.
"I think Coach Kennedy got a little irritated because all the letters kept coming to his classroom," Young joked.
Young's father, Leo, played football at Tulane.
"I just didn't feel any kind of draw there," Young said.
Young said as more schools contacted him, others jumped on board.
"I think it has some kind of domino effect," he said. "You take Steven Ridley. Ole Miss wanted him first. Once you're a blip on somebody's radar, other people start honing in."
Young committed to Ole Miss, which was just coming off probation and had limited scholarships. He was promised a scholarship after his first year.
"Ole Miss was just the coolest place," Young said. "It was kind of like Natchez with an SEC team in it. Walking in the Grove was just the coolest thing."
Young said there are a number of athletes in the Miss-Lou with a lot of potential.
"There are probably a hundred athletes in the Miss-Lou who have the physical tools to play professional sports," he said. "The one thing that separates them is that you have to have an uwavering desire to work very hard every day. It has to be your true love. Around here you can be the biggest guy on your team like I was. I got to Ole Miss and my roommate, Lee Lott of Puckett was 6-6, 280 and he was throwing me around when we were wrestling. That was a big eye-opener for me. You need to enjoy it and do it for the love of it, but your academics need to take precedence. Have a good time, but your first focus is to hit the books. You have to have a great work ethic."
Young said he will never forget what former ACCS headmaster Henry Crane said at their graduation.
"He said poor decisions limit further options and good decisions enhance future opportunities," Young said.
Young said he still uses his time at Ole Miss as a lesson for today.
"Think before you speak," he said. "In the service arena I have to deal with different people from different walks of life. You have to be able to communicate effectively. You have to be accessible to everyone. And you have to be more understanding."
|Frank Morris Murder Series|