Young catches on with Eastern Kentucky

Published 4:26 pm Tuesday, February 14, 2023

Ironton Fighting Tigers’ wide receiver Aiden Young signed a letter-of-intent to play for the Eastern Kentucky University Colonels. Attending the signing ceremony were: seated left to right, father Joe Young, Aiden and mother Claudette Saunders; standing left to right, Loretta Vinson, Desmond Young, Connie Carter, Dick Fisher, Debbie Fisher, Patrick Waddell, Debbie Johnson, Anissa Cosby, Frank Lee and Amy Perry. (Photo By Tim Gearhart)

By Jim Walker

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Usually Aiden Young was on the receiving end of passes from Ironton quarterback Tayden Carpenter.

But the Fighting Tigers’ senior wide receiver was able to catch a football scholarship offer from Eastern Kentucky University as he signed a letter-of-intent with the Colonels.

Aiden Young

Young began his recruiting with Fairmont State who made him an offer and talked to some other schools along the way before getting a call from Eastern Kentucky.

“Fairmont State was my very first offer so I’m very appreciative of them,” said Young. “But something about EKU just stuck out for me. I’m just ready to go down and be part of that family.”

Young followed in his father Joe’s footsteps as a receiver and defensive back for Ironton. He was recruited for both sides by various teams but will be a wide receiver and slot receiver for the Colonels.

“I’m just going to be anywhere on the offensive side. I like (both sides). I like hitting people, of course, but there’s just something about offense. I like having the ball in my hands and making explosive plays,” said Young.

Despite a plethora of Ironton receivers this past season, Young still had 21 receptions for 356 yards for an average of 17 yards per catch. He had four touchdowns.

Defensively, the 5-foot-11, 175-pound Young had 73 total tackles — 32 solo stops — to go with three interceptions.

“It’s always been a dream but it really hasn’t hit me yet. I’m still in high school with all my buddies, but I think once the moving process starts to happen, when our whole class throws their caps up in the air (at graduation) it’s going to hit me,” Young said flashing a big smile.

“Right now, I’m just taking in the moment and enjoying my senior year as I finish it out.”

Football chief of staff Garry McPeek was liaison with EKU and Young and they discussed his place on the depth chart and his playing chances.

“I was talking to coach Gary McPeek and he said I’m going to work my way up the depth chart like any other freshman coming in. It’s on me. I have a great chance coming in to make a name for myself, making plays in practice, showing my strength in the weight room, and once the coaches start noticing me I’ll fly up the depth chart and get my name on the field and start making plays.”

Ironton finished 15-1 and state runners-up as they set a record for most wins in a career for any class to come through the hallways.

“As kids growing up, we always knew we were going to be a power in high school, so coming into our senior season we just knew that we had to get the job done,” said Young.

“We were powerful with athletes all across the board, it was hard but in some ways it was easy. The state championship we fell short but I think we were ready and the moment was there for us but we couldn’t take advantage of it.”

Young plans to major in sports medicine but said he might switch to business.