Kentucky redshirt junior Landon Young had a different view of the Wildcats 2018 season.
On August 24, 2018, just days before Kentucky’s magical 10-3 campaign kicked off, Young tore his lateral meniscus in his left knee that required surgery five days later.
The hardest thing for Young during the injury was not being able to be on the field with his teammates. Instead, he was forced to watch from the stands. Recovery from surgery forced him to miss the trip to Florida. When he needed it most, his faith and family helped him push through the struggles.
“Just want to thank everyone for the prayers and concerns,” Young said on Twitter following the news of his injury last August. The Lord had a plan for me and sometimes that means obstacles in my path. I know my team will be fine and still do amazing things this year! I will be working hard to come back even stronger next year.”
Next year begins on Saturday vs. Toledo and Young is ready to fulfill the plan set for him.
“It’s a faith thing for me,” Young said. “My faith comes first. I was raised in a Christian household. My parents and grandparents always taught me to love the Lord. Someone asked me what do you tell Davonte [Robinson, who will miss the 2019 season after suffering an injury prior to fall camp] in this situation? Just believe that this is God’s plan and to believe that he has something better for you in the future. This is just an obstacle in the road that he has put in your way so you can conquer it.”
On Saturday vs. Toledo, Young will play his first snap of football since the Music City Bowl in December 2017. That season he played in all 13 games with six starts.
The injury changed the way Young views each and every day, both on and off the football field. Fall camp is a struggle in itself with practices every day but his father, Randall Young helped him find a reason to appreciate every day and opportunity.
“He always tells me that this is the best time of my life and to enjoy it. There are so many times that we get caught up with just wanting to get done with fall camp or rush through things because we’re tired and beat up, but he told me to take it one day at a time and enjoy it. You’re never going to get a chance to do this again. Yeah, I may be able to play in the NFL but at some point in the next ten to fifteen years, football is going to be over. Enjoy it every single day at a time, even when I’m hurt take advantage of it and do the best I can. Each day is a different battle but you have to attack each day as a different day.”
That approach has Young ready for a solid season in 2019, one he hopes is just as good, if not better than the 10-3 season a year ago. Even though the “experts” are predicting Kentucky to fall back to an average six win season, he knows the talent in the program is ready to continue taking steps up the SEC ladder.
“I love when they doubt us. Everyone on this team loves that. No one ever gives Kentucky respect and we feed off that. Just like last season, they disrespected us all season but we kept beating good teams. We proved them wrong. We’re going to go out there and prove them wrong again and maybe they will understand that Kentucky is a good team. We’re going to make them respect us.”
Young and the Wildcats get the season started vs. Toledo at noon ET. on Saturday at Kroger Field.