Scottie Young Jr. is the kind of transfer that almost any college football team would welcome into its program.
Young was a productive three-year starter during his time at Arizona. Young made 30 starts across his three seasons with the Wildcats. He totaled 157 tackles with five interceptions and 12 pass deflections.
That kind of proven production and experience, especially from playing in the Pac 12, does not come walking through the door very often so it makes sense that it did not take long for Young to find a new home.
After entering the transfer portal in April, Young announced his decision to transfer to West Virginia in May. Coming to WVU, Young would reunite with former Arizona defensive backs coach Jahmile Addae, who coached Young as a freshman in 2017 and will oversee the back of WVU’s defense this season.
Young saw his first action with the Mountaineers during the team’s morning practice on Saturday and second-year head coach Neal Brown came away impressed.
“He really made some nice plays today,” Brown told members of the media afterward. “I thought he was active, he was around the football a lot. I thought his communication skills were really good.
“We felt that he was a guy that could come in, he’s a proven player in the Pac 12. He’s made a lot of plays, started a bunch of games against some really good people. Coach Addae obviously coached him while he was at Arizona and had a lot of faith in him and he’s come here and he hasn’t disappointed.”
The statements from Brown, previous production and power five starting experience all indicate that Young could be a very good player for the Mountaineers. The only real question is when that would be.
Not a graduate transfer, Young would need a waiver from the NCAA in order to suit up this season. Since he never redshirted while with the Wildcats, however, even without a waiver Young could redshirt this season and play for the Mountaineers in 2021, a plan that Brown is not against.
“We felt like we’ve really got an older group there at safety so if he does have to redshirt, I think that’ss be a good thing because we’ll really lose a lot in that room going into next season,” Brown said. “We lose a lot of seniors in that safety room, if he redshirts he can be a senior next year and we don’t have a whole lot of experience coming back.”
Following this season, WVU will graduate at least four safeties; Sean Mahone, Dante Bonamico, Jake Long, Osman Kamara. Next season the only senior in the safety room would be current junior Noah Guzman.
If granted the waiver, there is little doubt Young could make an impact on the field for the Mountaineers this season. However, with Mahone, Guzman and sophomore Tykee Smith slated to start (sophomore Kerry Martin has opted out of the season), there is not a clear need for Young to play this season.
If Young does not get the waiver, or Brown decides to pocket his final year of eligibility, Young could arguably be even more valuable to the Mountaineers next season.