MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — While he only appeared in one game in 2020, head coach Neal Brown thinks there’s a lot to like about defensive back Scottie Young.
The redshirt senior sat out the 2020 regular season after transferring from Arizona, but he did play in the Liberty Bowl after the NCAA granted immediate eligibility to all first-time transfers amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Young recorded four total tackles in the bowl victory over Army.
Though Young didn’t see any action in the regular season, he made the most of his role on the scout team — the same type of role that helped fellow defensive back Alonzo Addae develop into an all-conference talent.
“He’s kind of been a changed guy. He did a great job on the scout team. Very similar to Alonzo Addae,” Brown said. “Alonzo did a great job on the scout team. You could really see him getting better. He used the developmental group, Alonzo, and then Scottie followed his same path and really grew from a leadership standpoint, so he’s got a lot of trust with our team.”
After transferring from New Hampshire, Addae spent the 2019 season on the scout team as he fulfilled NCAA transfer eligibility requirements. Then last season, he earned second team All-Big 12 accolades while finishing second on the WVU roster in total tackles.
Addae thinks Young owned the challenges that came along with sitting out last season, and he expects big things from the former Wildcat.
“This season, you know, I think he’s gonna have a great year,” Addae said. “Expectations should be through the roof for him. I don’t see no limit to the things he can do on the field.”
A breakout season from Young, a fellow safety, would surely be celebrated by the coaching staff and Mountaineer fans alike, especially in wake of safety Tykee Smith’s recent departure.
And it appears as though Young is showing what he’s capable of this spring — the three-year starter at Arizona returned an interception for a touchdown Saturday in West Virginia’s full contact scrimmage.
“He’s made plays all through the spring,” Brown said.
In his junior season at Arizona, Young posted a career high in total tackles, finishing third on the team with 66. Over the course of his Division I career, he has logged more than 150 total stops and snagged five interceptions.
The opportunity is there for Young to become a star in gold and blue — and according to Brown, he’s got the right mentality.
“He’s been like a different guy as a player on the field once he was deemed eligible to play for the bowl game,” Brown said. “Thought he played at a high level in the bowl game. He’s followed that up playing both our spear and safety positions, and I think he’s got a chance to be an upper-level guy in our league.”