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Editor’s Note: The following first appeared in the University of Iowa’s Hawk Talk Daily, an e-newsletter that offers a daily look at the Iowa Hawkeyes, delivered free each morning to thousands of fans of the Hawkeyes worldwide. To receive daily news from the Iowa Hawkeyes, sign up HERE.
By DARREN MILLER
IOWA CITY, Iowa — University of Iowa freshman wide receiver Devonte Young is all business, on and off the football field.
The 6-foot, 195-pound Young chose the UI because of its football tradition and the Tippie College of Business. Young is majoring in pre-business with his sights set on entrepreneurship.
Young arrived in Iowa City on June 10 and enrolled in two summer school courses. He enjoyed the early acclimation to college life.
“It’s good because I got used to the classes instead of coming late and trying to adjust to the system,” Young said. “I was used to it by fall camp and transitioning into the season.”
Young is one of 10 Hawkeye true freshmen to play this season. He is still searching for his first college pass reception but he already has a play for the highlight reel.
Young is a member of the punt return team and with senior Desmond King returning against Northwestern on Oct. 1, Young shadowed Wildcat running back John Moten up field, hitting him three times during King’s return. Young then peeled back and delivered a crushing blow that lifted Moten off his feet and onto the Kinnick Stadium turf as King sprinted past for a long gain.
After the play, Young helped King up and walked to the sideline: Business as usual for the true freshman from Waldorf, Maryland (see video).
“I was just blocking for Desmond because they said to block hard,” Young said. “I wanted to make sure we got a good special teams play and the offense would take over. That’s all I was thinking about.”
In high school, Young was first-team all-state as a defensive back at North Point (Maryland) High School; he made 40 tackles with four interceptions. He also caught 45 passes for 802 yards and six touchdowns.
Young is comfortable with Iowa’s offensive playbook and all the pass routes. He isn’t uptight about when his first reception will come; there are other ways to be an effective receiver in the Hawkeye system.
“I’m going to keep doing like I have been,” Young said. “Practicing hard and focusing on little things as a team. It’s not all about the catches, it’s about blocking for the running backs and other little things.”
There is a lot to like about Young. UI head coach Kirk Ferentz points to the fact Young is mature physically for a 19-year-old; he also practices hard.
“Since the time he has shown up here, Devonte has done a good job and practiced well,” Ferentz said. “He is at a position where we had a need for an influx of talent. He did a good job throughout the preseason and we made the decision to play him. He doesn’t have a reception yet, but hopefully that’s in the near future.”
Young will make his second road trip of the season when the Hawkeyes (3-2 overall, 1-1 Big Ten) travel to Minnesota (3-1, 0-1) on Oct. 8 with the traveling trophy Floyd of Rosedale at stake. The Hawkeyes won last season, 40-35.