Malek Young, a 3-star defensive back from Florida, has de-committed from UGA. Young announced that decision from his Twitter account.
The Coconut Creek High School standout had been committed to UGA since April. He becomes the second de-commitment for the program since Kirby Smart was hired as the new head coach at UGA.
“I would like to open up my choices again and be highly recruited,” Young said.
He also thanked the coaches at UGA for all the love and welcoming him into the family while he was committed. His recruitment was closely tied to UGA defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt. Pruitt had been recruiting him since he was a sophomore when he was the defensive coordinator at Florida State. Reports have surfaced that Pruitt is expected to be named the next defensive coordinator at Alabama.
Will the 5-foot-10 Young still consider UGA? His high school coach does not think so.
“Probably not,” Reid said. “I don’t think he fits what Kirby (Smart) recruited at Alabama. They recruited him at Alabama but felt he was too short. (Jeremy) Pruitt never really cared about size. I’m pretty sure Kirby would probably rather have that scholarship available to a kid that fits what he is looking for rather that a guy who committed to and was tied to the old staff.”
Reid didn’t think Auburn was still in it for Young after the migration of its defensive coordinator and defensive backs coach to South Carolina. Miami is now a contender. Former UGA coach Mark Richt is there and that school his high school is less than an hour away from that campus. Young has taken an official visit to Ohio State. Reid felt that school would still be in it for Young along with Louisville and North Carolina.
South Carolina could also be a contender. Will Muschamp and Travaris Robinson now lead that staff. Those were his primary recruiters at Auburn. When Pruitt surfaces at Alabama, Young might also be a candidate for that program.
Young was rated as the nation’s No. 43 cornerback this year.
That drops UGA’s commitment total to 15 prospects for the Class of 2016.
Jeff Sentell covers UGA football and UGA recruiting for AJC.com and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Follow him on Twitter for the latest on who’s on their way to play Between the Hedges.