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February 5, 2014

Young signs with USC

Woodmont High School offensive lineman (6-foot-4, 290 pounds) signed with the University of South Carolina during a ceremony at his high school today, and Gamecock Central was there. Following are interviews with Young and his coach, Jason Farmer.

Gamecock Central: First, what was this like for you as the culmination of your career?

Malik Young: It's a huge blessing for me. It's a situation where this is the greatest moment of my high school career, of my life.

GC: What made you choose South Carolina?

Young: Coach (Shawn) Elliott, the school itself and the location, being close to home.

GC: On your recruiting visit you developed a relationship with fellow guard A.J. Cann, correct?

Young: We're real similar personalities. And I think we'll be friends and I can learn from him.

GC: What do you feel like your strengths are?

Young: My athleticism, my feet.

GC: What did you like most about the Gamecocks?

Young: It's a program on the rise.

GC: Do you know how they intend to use you next year?

Young: I'll play guard, but I may redshirt. The right guard spot is open (with Ronald Patrick graduating), but (Elliott) hasn't told me yet if I'll be redshirting next year or not. I'm just going to work hard.

GC: What were the most exciting games you went to this past year?

Young: The Clemson game, the Kentucky game and the Georgia game. I liked the Clemson game best. I hope to make it nine or 10 in a row once I'm done.

Woodmont football coach Jason Farmer

Gamecock Central: What kind of an athlete is Malik?

Jason Farmer: He's a tremendous athlete for his size. I guess when Carolina offered him back in May he was about 6-4, 278, and he went on his official visit two weeks ago and he's 6-5, 315 and can run. He runs about a five-flat 40.

When I got the job two years ago and saw how bug he was, I texted coach (Shawn) Elliott and said, 'Y'all need to come watch this kid,' and they did. Coach Elliott is a tremendous guy. I couldn't pick a better offensive line coach for Malik to play for. He told Malik, 'I'm going to be hard on you, but I'm going to love on you, too.' That's important. That's what coaching is about, tough love. Malik's used to it.

GC: From a straight-up football standpoint, what are his skills?

Farmer: His size and the way he's able to move. You don't find linemen who can move like him very often. I tell our younger kids it's OK to be athletic and play the offensive line. The way he moves for someone his size is very, very positive. It was for us, and it will be for South Carolina.

I think he projects as a guard, but he played left tackle for us his junior year and right guard for us his senior year. He's versatile. I think he can play either one. He's a good pass blocker and run blocker. He's done a good job of developing it all. I'm his high school coach, so I'm a little biased, but I believe that.

I hope Malik can go in and learn under the guys they have coming back and kind of take his time. I don't see him being Saturday-ready at this point, though he has gained 25 pounds since May. But he's excited about the opportunity and I know he's going to go down there and fight hard for something.



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