By LARRY VAUGHT
She’s seen her son injure his knee and miss the 2018 season when Kentucky won 10 games and then come back to play so effectively in 2019 that he’s been named the third best returning offensive lineman in the Southeastern Conference.
She’s seen COVID-19 totally disrupt everything about sports — and life — in our country and put the entire 2020 college football season in jeopardy.
Now she’s also seen her son get married.
“It’s hard to make that all up,” said Angela Young, the mother of UK senior offensive lineman Landon Young. “As a parent you hope your children grow up, get a degree, are able to support themselves and find a mate in someone who is equal.”
Young got married last week to Haleigh Johnson after initially meeting her in an ag class at UK.
“Me and Randall (Landon’s dad) are happy he found an old soul like him. They are perfect together,” Angela Young said. “She is a good country girl and he’s a country boy.”
Young’s mother thinks being married will make his senior season easier for him in many ways.
“He does not have to worry about planning anything during season. He can focus on football and doing what he needs to do,” Angela Young said. “Everything has a clear path. Hopefully they will have a season and then after that he be ready to start training hopefully for the (NFL) combine or Pro Day or whatever it is.”
She’s not worried about what might have with COVID-19 or even another injury. She’s been through those times and vows to keep only positive thoughts.
“God had a purpose for him being injured at that point in time. He grew a lot mentally, spiritually, emotionally. He learned a lot and focused on building himself physically. He did not have a redshirt year like a lot of players, so that gave him a chance to train and focus on watching film, learning technique,” Angela Young said. “It broke my heart when he got hurt but he came out stronger and there was a purpose to it.”
What about COVID-19?
She’s trusting UK medical personnel and coaches to monitor the situation and knows any time a football player goes on the field there’s a chance of injury.
“He wears masks and just does his thing. He did work out at our place quite a bit (when the UK campus was closed),” Angela Young said.
Landon and his father built a weight bench, squat rack and more so he could continue to lift weights when gyms were closed.
“If you do not work out and keep your body honed, you lose it,” Angela Young said. “Both Landon and his dad love to work with wood. It was neat to see them doing things together. We know after this year that Landon may not be local (if he makes a NFL roster) and it was just nice to see him and his dad working together.”
It’s also been nice for her to see how involved in the community her son has been the last four years in a variety of ways. He was named captain of the AllSate AFCA Good Works Team due to his community service work. A long-term care facility in Lexington named its dining room in honor his visits and work there the last four years.
“I can’t imagine how it could be any better. He has done well in school, he has done well football, he has done well outside football and he has matured as a person,” Angela Young said. “To do all that with a full-time job, which is what football is, is a lot to do for any athlete at UK. To do so well is really just miraculous and we are so proud of him for all of that.”