Young, Williams a formidable duo for Imhotep

Posted: October 09, 2012

YOU'RE THE TOP underclass rusher in your school and you already boast a 1,000-yard season.

Then, late in your junior year, you're hit with the news that the city's top RB prospect, a guy with a national profile, is arriving by transfer.

Do you let out a stream of expletives? Plop down in a corner and sulk? Storm to the main office and fill out your own outta-here paperwork?

Not if you're Eerin Young.

In fact, you rejoice and darn near ask for Major Star's autograph.

"I was hoping he would come here," Young said. "And I was thinking he would. No, I knew he would, because this is the best program in the city.

"When he transferred in, I was happy. I knew it would benefit our team and help me out, too, with college recruiting. The coaches would see him on the tapes and maybe decide they liked me."

Bingo.

The 5-8, 180-pound Young, who's being eyed by Syracuse, Ohio University and Fordham, and Major Star, aka David Williams, can be found at Imhotep Charter, which is storming through a wonderful season (6-0 overall, 4-0 in Public AA) and finds itself being mentioned in discussions of possible state champions.

As for Young, who's called "E.Y." by most of his teammates and coaches, look for him in the end zone. Or at least making impressive contributions on the numerous drives that finish there.

Thanks to a mixture of his talents, and the fact Williams missed one game with an injury, the speedy/slippery Young leads 'Tep in rushing yards with 582. His yards-per-carry average is outrageous at 11.2 and his touchdown total (seven) includes three by receptions. His average in that department is also otherworldly (22.0).

A strong work ethic is part of what fuels Young's success. Genes also play a role.

His father, Eric, was a first-team coaches' All-Catholic wideout for Bishop McDevitt in 1985 and his uncle, Keith Young, did important work at that same position (two TD catches in a semifinal win) for the Lancers' 1986 champs.

Speaking of wideouts . . . 

Eerin began his high school career at that position way back in '09 at McDevitt and even became one of the few freshmen in CL history to earn A-C honors (second-team). Only two games into his career, he posted TD No. 1 on a 17-yard catch vs. Cheltenham.

"My dad kept saying I was good enough to make varsity as a freshman," Eerin said Tuesday, during a dreary-day practice at East Germantown's Lonnie Young Rec Center. "But I was surprised when it happened. I was just hoping to make some good plays for JV."

After some arm-twisting by his mom, Tamika, Eerin (pronounced like Aaron) transferred to Imhotep for 10th grade, while his cousin, also named Keith Young, remained at McDevitt and starred at running back through last fall. Eerin's brother, Eric, was a productive wideout for West Catholic's '08 powerhouse.

Add up E.Y.'s numbers and they're pretty darn impressive. His 272 carries have produced 2,146 yards and 20 TDs, while 35 catches have been turned into 578 yards and seven more scores. Eerin's favorite subject is math, and he wouldn't need a calculator to tell you his career scrimmage total is 2,724.

Albie Crosby, Imhotep's first-year coach and most recently a top assistant at West Catholic (those two will almost certainly meet in a vintage Class AA City Title or District 1/12 Subregional showdown; West is Williams' former school), said colleges are pursuing Young as a running back.

"But he's a versatile kid," he added. "Really good hands."

With that in mind, Young now plays some slotback. Also, Crosby sometimes splits out Williams with the idea of creating space for Young.

"Mostly, they're co-halfbacks," Crosby said. "I'd say they're out there together 85 to 90 percent of the time. Without David here, Eerin would have to be Batman all the time. Now he gets to have some fun as Robin. He has really bought into it."

The Panthers have frolicked to 271 points (45.2) and the total could be, oh, 100 points higher had Crosby so chosen. The path-clearers for Young/Williams, whose success is complemented by the passing of budding soph Andre Dreuitt, are center Gordon Thomas, rotating guards John Carlo Valentin, Tevin Gadson and Tyrone Barge, tackles Aaron Ruff and Taleem Muhammad, and tight ends Naseir Upshur and Brandon Smith.

Young thinks his primary attributes are speed, strength and smarts, and he knows he brings things to the rushing table that differ from Williams'.

He was unable to pinpoint them, however, then finally smiled and said, "David has height."

Young started in youth ball at age 6 and played every single season for the Oak Lane Wildcats. Every single game, too.

"Haven't ever missed one," he said, simply. "Not in high school, either . . . Nah, that doesn't surprise me. I'm dedicated."

Of his football relationship with Dad, Eerin said: "He talks about his McDevitt days. He's got videos, pictures, newspapers . . . He wants me to do more than he did. And am I, really, because he was only a wideout. I like playing running back, too. I like having the ball in my hands."

What he dislikes, mostly, is chirping, though strides are being made.

"I don't talk that much," he said. "I've never been an outgoing guy. But I've been working on that, like with talking to the other running backs.

"And all of us talk about wanting to win states. That's our goal. Nothing less. We talk about that every day."

Pretty much every Sunday, Young, who lives on 20th Street, right below Cheltenham Avenue, can be found at Southern Baptist Church, 5th and Venango, and sometimes he serves as an usher.

Meanwhile, guess where he can be spotted early every morning?

"David lives around the corner from me," he said. "He drives me to school."

But not in the Batmobile.

Contact Ted Silary at silaryt@phillynews.com. High school coverage online at www.philly.com/rally.

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