By LARRY VAUGHT
Seems it was only fitting that Kentucky junior offensive lineman got his award for being named to the 2019 Allstate AFCA (American Football Coaches Association) Good Works Team® at Cambridge Place in Lexington.
This award is given to players for making a significant impact off the field and few have been more involved in the community than Young, a Lexington Lafayette graduate. He’s spoke at church and elementary schools, done yard work for those physically unable to take care of their yards, volunteered at Habitat for Humanity, been on a mission trip to Ethiopia and more.
The first time I got see that side of Young was when he went to Cambridge Place his freshman year at UK for a pre-Super Bowl party after being invited by Tim Biggs, a former UK athletics trainer who works there now.
Watching Young interact with so many residents was impressive. One lady kissed him on the cheek, others wanted autographs and they all liked just talking to him — one reason he has been back several times since that first visit.
Young knew he had been named to the team but didn’t know about the surprise presentation UK Athletics put together last week at Cambridge Place for him.
“We were very honored that he got to come back to Cambridge to accept the award and share that with our residents,” administrator Cara Clark said. “I am not sure how much our residents really understood about the award.
“They were just more enamored that a UK celebrity like him would take time out of his busy schedule to come and visit with them because they do not get a lot of visitors, and especially someone so important like him to take time to come visit.”
Clark still remembers Young’s first visit and what a buzz it created for residents and staff members in the facility.
“He was so sweet and laid back with everybody,” Clark said. “The residents enjoyed that he was just a down to earth guy. They can relate to him and just think he is very special. He helped put smiles on so many faces, including our staff, by just taking the time to talk with everybody and he did that again this time.”
His parents, Angela and Randall Young, were also at the surprise ceremony last week.
“We as parents couldn’t be prouder of the faithful, God fearing man he has become,” Angela Young said. “To see him want to reach out to the community, especially to those in the nursing home, who, sometimes do not get a lot of visitors … to see the Cambridge Place community light up with joy when he comes to visit …
“Not only do they get joy, but I know it brings joy to Landon. It warms a parent’s heart.”