The average Lexington 15 year old is considered by most to still be wet behind the ears, with many years ahead to gain experience before blooming into a mature individual. When news broke yesterday afternoon that Mark Stoops had received a commitment from a Sophomore-to-be, even my eyebrows raised, curious if a 15 year-old could handle the responsibility. After speaking with the Lafayette High School lineman yesterday, I realized that maturity and experience aren’t a weakness for the youngster: they are his strong points.
The well-spoken 6’7 270 pounder has completed one year of high school, but already has a slew of accomplishments under his belt. As a wrestler, Young finished as State Runner-Up in the heavyweight division. Young is even more impressive throwing the shotput and discus, ranked #2 in the nation in the discus category and cracking at a few state records this year. After starting his entire freshmen season at defensive end, Young’s accepted scholarship offer to his hometown school is the ‘icing on the cake’ to a phenomenal freshmen campaign. “I really wasn’t expecting anything at camp [last weekend], until a coach pulled me over to the side and let me know, ‘Coach Stoops is on his way with an offer.’ At first it was kind of hard to grasp, getting my first scholarship offer.” After receiving his first offer, it didn’t take long for the monster (I mean that in a good way) to pledge his allegiance to the #BBN. “I talked it over with my family for a couple of days, prayed over it, and weighed out my options before realizing that this is the place for me.”
While there is still a lot of time before Young is sitting through college orientation, you cannot underestimate the quality of player Kentucky will get when that day eventually comes. Landon was strictly a defensive player last year, but this year he will be focusing his time on developing into a great offensive tackle, the position that Coach Stoops envisions Landon will play in 4 years. “I’ve played offense before, so it shouldn’t be a problem focusing on that side of the ball.” Young has plenty of time to add muscle to his already wide frame, staying busy year-round training for each of his respective sports. In one month this summer, Young will participate in both football and wrestling camps, while attempting to win Gold in the Junior Olympics. Young doesn’t plan on slowing down when he gets to UK either, “I’ve already talked to Coach [Stoops] about it, and as long as they do not interfere I plan on doing both [football and track] at UK.” We may not see Young on C.M. Newton Field for awhile, but he plans on making sure it is worth watching when his time comes.