Ethan Young signs with his mom, Tracy Eckard, in front, and dad, Reggie, in back is Tigers' football coach Matt Martin.

EDWARDSVILLE - Edwardsville football defensive back Ethan Young signed a letter-of-intent with McKendree University in Lebanon and will be playing for the Bearcats in the 2020 season.

Young, who was a starter for the Tigers in his senior year in 2019, is very excited to be joining the McKendree team, and is looking forward to the opportunity.

"I'm excited to be a Bearcat," Young said with a big smile.

There were many factors involved in Young's decision to play for McKendree.

"Just the environment, the coaching staff, the football players, I loved it all," Young said. "It attracted me."

Young became the third Edwardsville player of the day to sign with a school in the Great Lakes Valley Conference, one of the best leagues of its kind in NCAA Division-II, along with Cameron Kirkpatrick, who'll join Young at McKendree, and Evan Ramirez, who signed with Quincy University.

"Yeah, my man Evan, I've been playing with him since I was in kindergarten," Young said with another smile. "Now, this will be the first time we're not on a team together; we're actually going to be playing against each other. And then, Cam, I'll have a friend on the team, somebody I can hang with, so that's exciting, too," he said with a laugh.

Young also considered Marian University in Indianapolis along with another Indianapolis-area school, and plans on majoring in graphic design, with a goal of being an architect, and is open to returning to school to earn advanced degrees in architecture if need be. He'll bring a lot to the Bearcats in the defensive backfield.

"I think I said to coach (Alec) Holler, I was talking to him about Ethan Young," said Tiger head coach Matt Martin, "and he was saying that Ethan Young might be the best overall cover corner we've had here. He's a three-year starter, and just really did a good job. I thought his challenge his senior year was to become a better tackler, and I thought he did that. I thought he became a more confident tackler, a more physical tackler. So I think that will translate into a successful career at McKendree."

When asked about a favorite memory of playing for Edwardsville, Young took some time in thought about it before coming up with an answer.

"There's so many, I can't even think of any," Young said with a smile. "I couldn't ask for a better school to play for, honestly, a better coaching staff. It was just an amazing experience. I'm really gonna miss it. The best three years of my high school life."

And Young also feels he'll bring much to the table to the Bearcats.

"Oh, just the intensity," Young said. "Coach Martin made every practice like, trying to make sure it was the best practice. It's like everything is on point. If it's not perfect, then redo it. It's the intensity and the character built from it, I feel like it'll carry me a long way."

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