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Michael Young to transfer to Cincinnati

| Monday, April 20, 2020

After entering the transfer portal last October in the midst of what would become Notre Dame’s 11-2 season, junior receiver Michael Young announced via Twitter on Easter Sunday that he will be transferring to the University of Cincinnati. 

Young broke his collarbone in spring training, which limited him to only three games last season. He announced his intent to enter the portal a week before Notre Dame’s 14-45 defeat at the hands of Michigan in Ann Arbor, despite the fact that the rising senior could have played in the game against the rivals and still saved a season of eligibility. 

In Cincinnati, Young will finally be able to play for the coach who originally recruited him at Notre Dame — Mike Denbrock. The former Irish offensive coordinator, associate head coach and wide receivers coach recruited Young, a then three-star recruit and 70th-ranked wide receiver per 247Sports.com. Young had 22 offers out of high school, but Denbrock was able to convince him South Bend was the place to be.  

Denbrock was first hired at Notre Dame under Tyrone Willingham in 2002, but after Willingham was terminated new head coach Charlie Weis did not renew his contract. However, in 2010, Brian Kelly rehired Denbrock as he transitioned into his new role as head coach of the Irish. In 2017, Cincinnati Bearcats head coach Luke Fickell announced that Denbrock would be taking the reins of the offense in Cincinnati and as such would never get to coach his recruit, Michael Young.

Young chose Cincinnati over Northwestern, Vanderbilt and Oklahoma State. He played in all 26 games of his first two seasons in South Bend. He had 11 receptions for 156 yards and two touchdowns in his freshman and sophomore campaigns, and figured to be a key piece in the offense in senior quarterback Ian Book’s second season starting under center. However, his shoulder injury put him behind the eight ball.

He returned in late September to play games against Virginia, Bowling Green and USC, but his production was not the same, as he posted six receptions for only 21 yards and rushed twice for two yards. Young did not make the trip to Ann Arbor for the next game and two days after the loss he had taken to the transfer portal.

Young will graduate from the University with a degree in film, television and theater. Since he only played in three games last season, the 2019 season will count as a redshirt season thanks to the NCAA’s four-game redshirt policy. He will have two years of remaining eligibility at Cincinnati with no sitting-out period as a grad transfer.

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