When looking for high school football prospects in California, the quarterback position is usually a good place to start. Six signal-callers are ESPN Watch List members, with several more looking to play their way into the discussion. One of those quarterbacks is Jake Young, a 6-foot, 192-pound athlete at Hanford (Calif.) High School.
It has been a tough season for the Bullpups -- 1-8 on the season with one game remaining -- but the dual-threat Young is catching the eyes of college coaches. He has been to several Fresno State home games and made the trip to UCLA's early home win against Nebraska. Boise State, Michigan, Oregon and Utah are several programs that have expressed early interest as well. Young said Boise State, Fresno State and UCLA have been favorites of his for some time.
"Those are schools I've had interest in since I was a little kid," Young said. "Fresno is just 30 minutes north and I love the Boise program. I have a couple of cousins and uncles who went to UCLA. I love the atmosphere of their games."
Young made an impression at several camps this past summer, as he attended events at Fresno State and San Jose State, as well as the Oakland Elite 11 and Nike Football Training Camp. He said he has enjoyed the early part of the recruiting process and getting to know the various college coaches, but things could heat up over the next few weeks, as Young will take unofficial visits to Boise State on Nov. 3 and to Oregon on Nov. 17.
"I've never been to Boise," Young said. "I got a Facebook message from a coach and he invited me out there after he saw game film where I played pretty well. I want to see how I'd fit into the offense and what they think about me as a player. And I want to get an overall opinion of the campus."
The Ducks have shown a high level of interest as well, as Young said he receives two or three pieces of mail every day from Oregon. The Ducks' offense is intriguing for many offensive players and Young believes the spread offense definitely suits him at the next level.
"I've been running the spread since seventh grade," Young said. "I've kind of mastered it. But I also go to coaches during the summer who work with me to take drops back from under center. I know I'll need to be able to throw from the spread and drop back from under center at the next level. But the spread offense is my domain. I would definitely like to look at programs that run that."
While film served as a positive introduction for Young to college coaches, he expects to have to prove himself in person at camps next spring and summer. He is already planning to attend camps at Boise State, Fresno State, Oregon and UCLA next summer.
"They all want to see me at a camp," Young said. "All the coaches say they love my film, but they want to see me in person and look at my mechanics."
Young said there is some stress that comes with finishing his junior season without an offer, but he relies on words of wisdom that his dad -- and head coach -- Josh Young, tells him. Namely, to keep playing his game and the recruiting will come in time.
"I always want to get better," Young said. "That's how I've been raised to be. I know there's always someone out there better and that bothers me. I want to push myself to be the best."