Byron Young

More than a month before the start of his high school football season, West Jones’ Byron Young committed to defending national champion Alabama.

Young took to Twitter to announce the news just before midnight Wednesday.

“After much consideration, I have decided to commit. I’d like to thank every school that has shown interest in me large or small,” Young wrote on Twitter. “I’d like to thank my coaches for believing in me even when I didn’t believe in myself. I’d like to thank all my teammates for pushing me at practice and for all the great times we’ve had so far over my football career.

“I also want to thank my friends that heave been there with me even before I was being noticed for football (especially Abby and Jon-micah). I’d like to thank my family for all the sacrifices they made to put in in the position I’m in today.

“From my mother to my sister, they have all pushed me academically and physically to places beyond I thought I’d ever be. Last but not least I’d like to than the man above for giving me that talent and ability to play this sport I love.

“With that being said, I’d like to announce my commitment to the University of Alabama. Roll Tide Roll.”

Young, a 6-foot, 4-inch, 280-pound defensive end for West Jones, is a consensus Top 10 recruit in Mississippi and is considered the ninth best defensive end prospect in the country.

His recruitment has been a who’s who of college programs, from Georgia to Clemson to Auburn and Alabama. Tide coach Nick Saban’s visit earlier this year to Soso caused near pandemonium at the school.

Young recorded 14 sacks and had a pas deflection as the Mustangs won the Laurel Leader-Call’s Battle for the Belt championship for the first time last season.

Young said in May that the recruiting process had been a busy one and it was humbling to see so many coaches in Soso. But he also said he leaned on his family to help him keep a level head.

Coach Scott Pierson said the interest in one player is unlike anything he has seen in his almost two decades with the Mustangs.

“We have a young man everybody wants. That’s the bottom line,” Pierson said in May. “Good student, high-quality family, good-character kid and a really good football player. He crosses everything off the checklist.”

Pierson added that no matter where Young signed, the size and prestige of the program will not change him.

“He’s just a humble kid from Hebron, Mississippi,” Pierson said. “He hasn’t changed a lick. He understands his is out there to get better and better every day and that is what he does.”

A commitment is non-binding, but Young’s commitment has been rated rock solid by several national recruiting sites. The earliest he can sign his National Letter of Intent is Dec. 19. The February National Signing Day is Feb. 6.

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