Landon Young will play his final game as a Wildcat tomorrow, a five-year career on the Big Blue Wall ending with a fifth bowl game appearance. Prior to Young’s arrival at UK as an early enrollee in the 2016 recruiting class, it had been five years since Kentucky played in a postseason football game.
“It’s been incredible for this program,” Young said of the turnaround since he and others, Drake Jackson being one, joined the team. “It’s been incredible for this program. I came into this program even before I enrolled, when we were winning two games and not doing very well, and to be able to see the change this whole program has made, and to be able to have that milestone marker of being able to go to the bowl games after not having a bowl game since 2008… I think it’s something really good, that you’ve done better, that you’ve improved the program, that you all are having a winning season, but I think it’s good for the extra work for a bunch of these guys, especially the guys that are getting ready to go to the next level.”
A group Young is a part of, Kentucky has close to a dozen NFL prospects with draft aspirations, but all decided to play one more game as a Wildcat.
“I think it’s good that they just get to hone their skills, enjoy that last bit with those guys,” Young continued. “But really, I think it’s just a great experience to build that team unity, get these guys all together, to get us working together, and be able to have fun doing it. You get into a long, long drive of a season and a lot of guys get that sort of monotonous feeling in the season, especially in a 10-game SEC season where were going through everything we are in 2020. This is a chance to sort of be able to relax a little bit and go back to having fun and it’s not just ground and pound all the time. You can have fun in football. It’s the greatest game ever made.”
Young was also asked to describe how he will remember the 2020 season, to which he said, “The best [part] about the 2020 season I think would just be how unique it is. Being able to finally do what everyone always talks about, having a 10-game SEC season schedule going against the best of the best, I’ll be able to remember that.
“But not just that, being able to get back up and respond to everything that’s happened. Of course, one of the most dearly beloved men in my life passed away this year. I know that’s a lot of the guys on the team period. But he always said it’s 10 percent of what happens to you and 90 percent of how you react to it. So, being able to see this team go through these struggles with Chris Oats, with Coach Schlarman, with COVID in general and be able to get back up, go out, put our hard hat on, and go win football games, that’s really going to be the number one thing that I remember.”
We’re going to miss this guy.