High School Sports

Defensive back Isaiah Young commits to Cal with a focus on education

WEST HILLS, CALIF. - NOV. 18, 2016. Centennial defensive back Isaiah Young brings down Chaminade’s O
Corona Centennial defensive back Isaiah Young (left) brings down Chaminade’s Owen Larson in the second half on Nov. 18, 2016, at Chaminade High in West Hills.
(Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

A new rivalry may be brewing in the Young household.

Isaiah Young, of Corona Centennial High, made his college commitment this week, following the path of his oldest brother, Kelsey, from the Southland to the Bay Area. Kelsey played running back at Stanford for four years. Isaiah will play cornerback for California. He chose the Golden Bears over offers from Arizona, Oregon, Washington State and a handful of mid-major programs.

“I had went up there for junior day and I had enjoyed it up there,” Isaiah said. “It’s a great place to be and I feel real comfortable. The opportunities that the school provides and the football opportunities that they have and the coaching staff, it’s just a good place for me to be.”

While there may be disagreement over which team to root for during the Big Game, both Young brothers know education comes first. They understand that football can be used as an avenue for greater success in life.


Kelsey completed his degree in computer science at Stanford. He transferred to Boise State for his final year of eligibility to work on his graduate degree while playing alongside another brother Cory. Isaiah said that a degree from Cal will prepare him for his post-football life.

“We all know exactly how prestigious of a school it is educational wise,” he said. “The networking and the alumni base that the school has is going to be a great asset to use for me. This school just has stuff that a lot of schools don’t have.”

One thing Isaiah learned from his brother’s time at Stanford is the effort it takes to make the most of his educational opportunities.

“I’m going to have to be focused,” Isaiah said. “There’s not going to be a lot of time for me to lollygag and focus on just football. I have to keep my grades up and I’m going to always have to be on task. I feel that’s going to develop me into a hard-working man and will just allow me to grow.”


Young chose Cal in part because of his growth and maturation prospects under defensive backs coach Gerald Alexander. Young has a great relationship and feels comfortable with his future position coach. He said they have the same values.

Alexander isn’t just interested in developing Young’s skill-set as a tough slot corner who plays bigger than his 5-foot-9, 156-pound frame. He also wants to grow him as an individual, according to Young.

“Life after football, getting an education. Understanding what it means to be an adult,” Young said. “Not just focusing on just playing football because football is going to end and it’s not everything, but being an adult really. He’s a real smart coach.”

Young has 72 tackles with two interceptions and 20 pass breakups the last two years. The three-star cornerback is No. 82 at his position, according to the 247Sports composite rankings. His rating is dinged because of his size, but Young continues to make plays for Centennial and will become a three-year starter for the Huskies this fall.

“I love the game. I love to compete and I know that it’s more than just being athletic,” he said. “I understand how the game works and I understand what I need to focus on and what certain things to look for during the game.”

Trojans after Traeshon

Harbor City Narbonne picked up a big-time transfer this week when Traeshon Holden announced his move across the country from St. Frances Academy in Baltimore. The four-star receiver committed to Alabama last month but has taken visits to UCLA, USC and Oregon.

The Trojans have been pursuing Holden hard and have their top recruiter actively working on him — quarterback commit Bryce Young. The two played together during a seven-on-seven passing tournament this spring and have since been trying to sell the other on flipping their commitment. Holden will play beside USC receiver commit Joshua Jackson Jr. at Narbonne, so expect Jackson to be in his ear as well.


Get our daily Sports Report newsletter