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2021 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: Landon Young, OT, University of Kentucky

Landon Young, OT, Kentucky
Landon Young was the leader and anchor of the Kentucky offensive line. He recently sat down with NFL Draft Diamonds writer Jimmy Williams.

Pro Day results:
6′ 6 1/8″, 310 lbs,
Hand:10 1/8″
Arm: 33 3/4″
Wingspan: 81 3/4″
40yd: 5.01
Bench: 34 reps
Vertical: 30.5″
Broad Jump: 9′0”
Short Shuttle: 4.89
3-Cone: 7.70

Talk about your experience as a student. What is your major/minor? Did you participate in any other activities or campus organizations other than football?
I graduated in Dec. 2019 with a degree in Animal Science and a minor in Agricultural Studies. Those fields of studies were perfect for me given that I grew up on a farm.

I have volunteered in several projects in the local community of Lexington and even had the opportunity of going overseas. I’ve spent time at the local children’s hospital and at a senior living community called Cambridge Place. Many of those residents just need someone to spend time with so they’re not alone. I’ve also helped bring food to the less fortunate around the area, and I have provided services with Habitat for Humanity where we help landscape property. I was also one of three players chosen to go overseas to Ethiopia to help families in a poor town called Korah. There, I visited orphanages and provided meals to schools.

What do your teammates say is your best quality?
My teammates would highlight my dedication to the game, how I work hard, and focus on the fine details. I also enjoy helping others.

What kind of role do you see yourself in on the team? What scheme and/or position suits your skill set?
I grew into a leadership role at Kentucky. Before, I mostly led my example and wasn’t very vocal at first. During my senior year, I was named team captain and took it upon myself to help the younger players learn how to stay consistent with their time on and off the field. I helped guys during our workouts and practices, helping to keep everyone accountable. With coach Schlarman passing away, it was necessary to keep everyone disciplined and focused on our regular goals.

Kentucky is an inside zone team, and I’ve spent my career honing my craft on the OL. I’ve started all 4 years at the LT position; however, I have spent many practices on the right side as well as playing some guard. I’d like to think that I am disciplined enough to play in any position that any NFL team needs me to play.

Who is the best player you have ever played against in college?
One of the players that really helped my development early on was Josh Allen. Going against him in practice made me step up my game. One opponent that really challenged me was Georgia’s edge rusher, Azeez Ojulari. He has wicked speed and the ability to bend very well.

Which one of your teammates impresses you the most?
The player that has impressed me the most is Josh Pascal. He’s defied the odds, having cancer in his foot and coming back to play at a high level. He gives it his all every day, competing on the field and in the weight room. He’s a very good character individual as well.

Describe a time in your life when you were able to overcome a struggle.
Going into my true junior season, I had high hopes of having a good season and possibly declaring early for the draft. Yet, the last week of fall camp, I suffered a lateral tear in the meniscus of my left knee. We were just going through normal drills when I heard a pop.

I was very devastated at first, realizing that I wouldn’t be on the field with my teammates. I believe that God has a plan, that I was meant to sit out that season. Going through rehab, I did all I could do in order to make the best improvements of my game, spending time in the weight room and getting my body right. Being on the sideline also let me look at the game in a different way. I was able to study the relationships on our OL and see where our strong and weak points were. I also took the time to study defenses and how to target them properly in order to maximize efficiency.

Six months after my surgery, I was ready to play our spring ball. I earned my starting spot again and was ready to get back to work.

If you didn’t play football, what other sport would you play?
I’d say either wrestling or track & field. In 7th and 8th grade, I wrestled in high school. I ended up winning the state title my senior year. In track & field, I was a champion shot putter, throwing 59’9”. I was also a 3-time state champion in discus with a personal best of 178’3”. I actually had college offers to play both of those sports. Kentucky even offered me to play for their track & field team if I wanted to, but I chose to stick with football instead.

What is something that you are most proud of? What would you say is your biggest achievement?
This past season, I was named First Team All-SEC. Yet, I’m most proud of being named the captain of the AFCA Good Works Team. I’m humbled to be recognized for what I’ve done in the community. I’ve truly enjoyed giving back to the people that have supported me and given me so much.

Describe one of the most memorable plays of your collegiate career.
The most memorable moment for me has to be that first play in our game against Vanderbilt. It was right after Coach Schlarman passed away. We had let the left guard spot open in order to show our respects. We took a delay of game penalty which was declined. I appreciate the Vanderbilt staff for allowing us to do that. I was wearing his number (# 65) instead of my normal number (#67). The members of the OL took turns throughout the year wearing that jersey. I was named SEC lineman of the week for that game.

Do you have a favorite athlete or professional team? Is there a player that you model your game after?
Some of my favorite players to watch in the league are my former teammates like Josh Allen, Mike Edwards and Bud Dupree. I played with Jedrick Wills in high school who ended up playing for Alabama and is now with the Cleveland Browns. I love watching my guys excel.

As far as guys in the league that I model my game after, I used to love watching Joe Thomas who’s one of the best of all time. I also like to study players like Laremy Tunsil, Andrew Whitworth and David Bakhtiari.

Who is your favorite music artist? What gets you pumped before a game?
I’m a country boy, so I listen to guys like George Strait and Chris Stapleton.

What is your favorite comfort food?
I love venison. There’s nothing like fried deer loin with potatoes and green beans. There’s a burger joint called Wallace Station near Lexington worth trying. Their Big Brown burger is great.

Do you have a favorite movie, TV show or actor?
“The Ranch” is one of my favorite TV shows. I also watch the Outdoor Network. I enjoy the Harry Potter movies as well as all the Marvel movies.

What do you do in your spare time? Do you have any hobbies? Any secret talents?
I enjoy the outdoors, hunting, fishing and farming. My hidden talent is that I’m learning how to play the banjo.

Why do you play football? Who or what motivates you the most?
My why is that I love the game and can’t really see myself without it. Football has given me a lot of opportunities. It will give me the ability to take care of my family as well as give me a platform for my faith. I hope to give to those that aren’t as fortunate and support my community.

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