The Young and Talented

Steel-High's Jeremiah Young has LeSean McCoys' rushing record in his sights as the Rollers open the District 3 Class A playoffs
By Matt Blymier, SPORTSfever
When he lined up at the tailback spot for Bishop McDevitt from 2002 to 2005, LeSean McCoy was a thrill waiting to happen. Everytime he touched the ball, a spectacular play and touchdown run was a real possibility.
And he delivered time and time again.
Now that he is the starting tailback at Pitt, that hasn’t changed. He quickly has established his place among the top running backs in major college football with his flashy combination of speed, power and elusiveness and by rushing for more than 1,000 yards in his freshman season.
McCoy, despite suffering a severe ankle injury that cut short his senior season at McDevitt, finished his high school career as the all-time leader in rushing yards in District 3 with 6,640 yards.
When his high school career and statistics were complete, there was no reasonable expectation that there would be another running back in District 3 to challenge McCoy’s rushing record and highlight reel.
Steel-High running back Jeremiah Young has changed that.
Young (5-11, 185, Jr.) completed the regular season with 1,789 yards on 226 carries and scored 19 touchdowns. In his first three seasons, he now has rushed for 5,530 yards on 618 carries and scored 62 touchdowns. With the District 3 and PIAA state playoffs and his senior season still to play, crushing McCoy’s phenomenal yardage record is well within reach.
Young was named to the Associated Press Class A all-state first team in 2006 – one of only two sophomores—and to SPORTSfever’s 2007 preseason all-state team.
“We had Andrew Erby during my first year and he was good,” said Steel-High coach Rob Deibler, who has coached the Rollers for the past nine years. “But Jeremiah is the best back that I’ve seen since I’ve been coaching.”
Young, who flashes the combination of speed, explosiveness and smooth, shifty moves reminiscent of McCoy, rushed for 870 yards in his freshman season in 2005 and rushed for 2,001 yards on 275 carries last season. The Rollers won District 3 championships both seasons. Already, Young has drawn a steady stream of recruiting visits and contacts from major college football recruiters.
He hasn’t received any official scholarship offers so far. He took Penn State up on its invite to visit Beaver Stadium to watch the Nittany Lions take on Iowa in October.
He is keenly aware of the opportunities available to him. This past off-season, he teamed up with a personal trainer and added 10 pounds of muscle and dropped his 40-yard dash time from a 4.6 seconds to just under 4.5 seconds.
“He really worked hard this off-season to gain muscle and become faster,” said Deibler. “I was pleased with the results. He can only get better. I think that could be scary.”
Young gained 267 yards on 32 carries against Millersburg in the season opener. The Rollers were 4-0 when Trinity shut down Young (12 carries, 24 yards) in a dominating 31-7 win. It started a three-game losing streak for Steel-High.
But the Rollers rebounded and so did Young. He rushed for 670 yards and scored 10 touchdowns in three victories to complete the regular season.
“He knows he’s going to be keyed on,” said Deibler. “But I think he’s ready for the challenge.”
With Young as its centerpiece, Steel-High is aiming for its third straight district championship and that elusive trip to the PIAA State Championship game.
“We always feel like we can win States. It’s Steel-High,” said Deibler. “If you don’t think that, you shouldn’t be playing.”

District 3 Rushing Yardage Leaders

LeSean McCoy            Bishop McDevitt                     2005          6,640

Tommy Long                Lebanon Catholic                   1996          5,662

Jeremiah Young        Steel-High                         2007        5,530

Mike Jemison               Greencastle-Antrim               2000          4,958

Jaren Hayes                 Cedar Crest                           2001          4,881

Ryan Priest                   Mechanicsburg                      1981          4,843

Dan Lewis                     Mechanicsburg                      2001          4,788

Michael Owens             Carlisle                                   1985          4,495

Nate Romig                  Daniel Boone                         2005          4,492

Jeremiah Collins          Littlestown                              1998          4,434

Mike Kitchen                 Lebanon                                 1998          4,366

Luther Green                Bermudian Springs                1998          4,291

David Gilmore              Reading Central Catholic      1983          4,288

Dan Lawlor                    Cumberland Valley                2003          4,274

Mike Madara                 Donegal                                  1999          4,197

Musa Smith                   West Perry                               999          4,116

Tab Musser                  Cocalico                                 1996          4,092

Jon Ritchie                    Cumberland Valley                1992          4,062

Jason Scott                  Scotland                                 1999          4,009