Quarantine living comes along with many negative side effects. Often times people will find themselves itching to get out of their homes to do just about anything. Landon Young has certainly felt an itch. It’s just from all the hay he’s pushing around his family’s farm.
Kentucky’s starting left tackle is entering his fifth and final season on the Big Blue Wall. He is the second-highest graded returning offensive tackle in the SEC, according to Pro Football Focus, behind only his teammate Darian Kinnard. Young’s plans to carry that momentum into his senior season changed once the coronavirus pandemic swept across America. Plans may have changed but they were never completely derailed.
In a Zoom conversation with Kentucky Sports Radio, Young lamented on the loss of spring practice.
“This time during the spring is so essential for any football team across the nation. That was a really hard time because this is the time where you bond the most,” he said. “It’s a developmental time. We’re always trying to improve, always trying to hone our craft because it is a year-round job and you’ve got to be able to do it to stay in the SEC.”
Locked out of the Joe Craft Football Training Facility, Young had to find creative ways to stay in shape. His father, Randall, was happy to help.
“Me and my Dad actually built a full DIY wood squat rack and a full DIY wood bench; welded our own standards to the top of the bench to hold the bar; drilled all the holes in our racks so we had a place I can hang clean the bar from. We did the whole thing,” Young said proudly. “I bought my own push-pull sled to be able to get all that leg-work in. We fastened all that up”
Of course, one can still only do so much with a rack of weights. To keep his son busy, Randall created a lengthy list of chores for Landon to complete around their Central Kentucky farm. From moving and installing water-pipes, to rolling out bales of hay, many of Landon’s errands also have practical football applications.
Pushing a sled is not so different than pushing around a ton of hay. “These are probably upwards up 750 to a thousand pound round bales we were rolling out.”
Young is not the only Kentucky football player that has adjusted his workout regimen during the coronavirus crisis. Like Young, most players do their work on a field, one that is much more manicured.
Keep workin. ? pic.twitter.com/jYahxV15oU
— dru (@AndruPhillips) May 12, 2020
Year 2 loading …… pic.twitter.com/GjBCrlcGKC
— JJ Weaver (@jjtimeee) May 2, 2020
When he isn’t catching passes from Nik Scalzo, Florida tight end Nik Ognenovic is using cinderblocks to strength train.
Workout plans aren’t the only changes Young has made over the last two months. This spring the offensive lineman got down on one knee and asked the love of his life, Haleigh, to marry him. She said yes and they immediately began planning a wedding for this summer. It may not look like the wedding they envisioned, but the coronavirus will not stop the couple from getting married in June.
“That’s our plan unless something happens and we can’t get married,” he said. “If it’s just me, her and a preacher or me, her and 250 people… No matter the circumstances, we’re going to get married that day. The wedding’s important, but the marriage is the most important part. That’s what a lot of people lose sight of — it’s not the wedding, but it’s the marriage.”
Young’s ability to forcibly move obstacles out of the way on the gridiron will pave his path to the NFL. That mindset has not altered during the coronavirus pandemic.
During our conversation we also talked about milk, hunting, fishing and so much more. Enjoy.