By LARRY VAUGHT
What are realistic expectations for offensive tackle Landon Young this season?
He was a five-star recruit out of Lexington Lafayette High School. His freshman season he had 27 knockdown blocks when Benny Snell and Boom Williams both rushed for over 1,000 yards. As a sophomore he started six games and again Snell went over 1,000 yards.
Last season he hurt his knee during preseason and missed the entire year. Now he’s back healthy, bigger and strong, and being counted on to help solidify an offensive line that lost three starters to graduation and one to transfer.
Offensive line coach John Schlarman likes what he’s seen.
“I was really fired up to see what he was going to do last year. I thought he had a great offseason. Hated for that to happen to him and then we had such a good year as a team and there’s a guy who it means everything for him to play at Kentucky and he had to miss out on it,” Schlarman said.
“I just hated that for him but as you would expect out of him, he turned it into a positive. He increased his upper body strength , he did some things even while rehabbing a knee to make himself better. I am really excited about what he is going to bring to the table. I just felt like he was on the cusp of doing that last year.”
Schlarman now believes the injury and redshirt year might have actually made Young a better player going into this season because it enabled Young to learn more about the game.
“He never had a redshirt (year) before that, so that really benefitted him to kind of learn from the sidelines a little bit and understand some concepts and things we do even more so,” the UK assistant coach said. “I am really excited about him.
“In the spring we kind of monitored his reps just to make sure we didn’t push him too hard, too soon. He did well with that and I am sure as we get into the fall training camp we will have to crank those up a bit and see where that goes. But I am excited about him.”