DENTON _ Whether or not Denton Ryan prolific quarterback Scotty Young winds up at Texas Tech, his high school coach believes he's going to be an exceptional college quarterback.
"Obviously in throwing the football he was great for us,'' Ryan coach Joey Florence said Thursday. "But he's a great leader and a very intelligent kid, and he led our football team for the last two years.
"He had two incredible passing seasons for us, he's a winner and he's going to be successful wherever he chooses to go.''
Young orally committed to Tech last year, but is having second thoughts ever since Dec. 30 -- the day the Red Raiders fired head coach Mike Leach. On Thursday, Young spoke for the first time since Leach's departure, telling the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that he'll know more about his college future after meeting next week with new Tech head coach Tommy Tuberville.
Young said he plans to finalize his college future "within the next two weeks.'' And Arizona State and Notre Dame are still squarely in the picture.
One thing's for sure. From Florence's perspective, Young (6-3, 190) is a keeper who any coach should covet.
Florence has high hopes that Tuberville and Neal Brown, Tech's new offensive coordinator, won't deviate too much from the system Leach had in place. Especially since the main reason Young verbally committed to the Red Raiders in the first place was because they ran basically the same offense as Denton Ryan.
"In the right system, (Young) has a bright future,'' Florence said. "Scotty will flourish in the old Tech system.
"It's got to be the right fit, and I think they're still feleing their way through the new coaching staff.''
In 27 games for Ryan during the last two seasons, Young was 575-of-910 for 8,962 yards, only 24 interceptions and a record-breaking 129 touchdowns while running a spread offense similar to the one Leach implemented at Tech. If Tuberville and Brown can retain much of what Leach ran, Florence said of Young:
"I think he'll flourish and have a great career down there, and hopefully that's what happens. We'll just have to wait and see.
"But he can be very successful at the next level.''
So what type of quarterback is Young, who own several state passing records?
Florence said: "If he's in the spread and they're throwing it -- he's a pocket-passing quarterback -- that's what he needs to do. He's not real terribly agile and mobile.
"But if they expect him to stand in there and throw it, then he'll do good. I know he's going to meet with them and try to hammer out the details and make sure that's what's right for everybody.''
Florence just hopes all the alleged politics that led to the firing of Leach is over, and that none of that will affect Young if he indeeds sign a National Letter of Intent with Tech on Feb. 3.
"I just think the whole (circumstances surrounding the firing of Leach) is bizarre out there,'' Florence said. "But I want what's best for Scotty and hopefully it'll be a good match for everybody and it'll work out for Tech and for Scotty.
"I've heard a lot of good things about both Tuberville and Coach Brown, but we'll just have to wait and see. Scotty is very intelligent and he and his parents will make the right decision, and we'll just have to wait and see how it works out.''
_ Dwain Price