While Kiante Young and Korentheus Bailey share a similar background, they are having a vastly different college experience.
Young and Bailey, both East Hall High graduates, are currently playing football at Western Kentucky University, but may be parting ways very soon.
Young popped on the scene early this season with the Hilltoppers and emerged as the starter at strong safety. Meanwhile, Bailey saw a reduction in playing time this season under a new coaching regime and doesn’t hide the fact that while home for the holidays he will look into transferring at the end of the school year.
“I’m going to sit down and talk with my parents about it,” Bailey said. “Georgia Southern is one of the schools I’m looking at.
“I like the fact that it’s closer to home.”
While at home, Bailey, a sophomore, got a chance to kick back and relax during a six-week break before having to return to the Bowling Green, Ky. campus in late January. While at home, Bailey enjoyed watching his younger brother, Sterling, playing basketball with East Hall and winning the Lanierland championship.
“It was amazing to watch them win,” Bailey said. “I didn’t think they’d be able to win it so easily.”
He also got to see his girlfriend from school, Angela Miralles, who lives in the Atlanta area. Bailey also gets in his daily workouts to stay in shape.
Still, the desire for more playing time has Bailey thinking about transferring. Under first-year Western Kentucky coach Willie Taggart, Bailey estimates he played about 30 percent of the snaps on defense, which is a reduction from the 2009 season. After a torn labrum during last spring in his shoulder, Bailey feels like he’s back near full strength and ready to play — just not necessarily at Western Kentucky.
“This season didn’t go as well as I wanted,” Bailey said.
However, Young, a redshirt freshman, feels the opposite about his experience with Western
Kentucky. His first big game of the season was against South Florida; he had a big hit on the second play of the game to go along with his only interception of the season before halftime in the game on Sept. 25 in Tampa, Fla. The following week at Florida International, Young recorded a season-high 13 tackles. He finished the season with 45 tackles, which was sixth best on the team.
“Everything’s going real well,” Young said. “The competition at this level is different than high school because it’s so much faster.”
After a high ankle sprain in 2009, Young credits studying the game constantly and time in the weight room for his improvement.
“I want to get to where I read the offenses better,” Young said.
Young entered last spring as a backup, but emerged as a frontrunner for the starting job after blocking an extra point and making three tackles in the spring football game.
He added that the distance from home isn’t too bad considering his parents visit for most of the home games.
Western Kentucky finished the season with a 2-10 record under Taggart, who set 11 school records at quarterback for the Hilltoppers during his playing career from 1994-98. The Hilltoppers’ two victories this season came against Louisiana-Lafayette and Arkansas State, but Young plans on having a better season in 2011.
“We have a good fan base at Western Kentucky,” Young said. “The new staff is doing a good job and we’re getting a lot better as a team.”