Waiting is Over for Youngblood

Reggie Youngblood is a 6-foot-5, 315-pound offensive lineman from Booker T. Washington High School in Houston. Youngblood is one of 15 new freshmen that reported today as the team gets ready for their first practice on Saturday at 3:30 p.m.

Reggie Youngblood will wear jersey number 77 for the Hurricanes and begin his career at left tackle.

"I have been waiting forever for this day," Youngblood said. "The recruiting process was crazy. It is good to finally be here and now I am ready. I am just overjoyed."

Youngblood arrived on campus June 28 to begin summer classes. A new NCAA rule this year allows incoming freshmen to take two summer classes and allowing them to participate in the off-season workout plan.

"It is what I expected," Youngblood said as he described the difference between high school and college players. "You just have to keep grinding it out."

This summer Youngblood took an english class as well as a dance class.

"I think it is good that we can take classes now so we are used to it in the fall," Youngblood said. "We aren't going to be shocked with the amount of work we have to do."

All of the freshmen bonded real quick with each other and with a typically small class it is important for them to be close to one another.

"We are all like brothers," Youngblood said. "We all bonded real quick. When I first got here they treated me like I have always been here. Everyone gets along well and they are all great players. I Think we have a real good class."

This summer Youngblood and his fellow teammates would regularly run into current NFL players such as Clinton Portis, Bubba Franks, Dan Morgan, Jonathan Vilma, Ed Reed, and Reggie Wayne just to name a few.

"At first I was in awe," Youngblood said. "But then after a while they just became one of the guys." The upperclassmen did a good job of welcoming Youngblood into the Hurricane family.

"They have all been good," Youngblood said. "They have taken care of me with me being away from my family. They feel like an extended family."

Senior starting left tackle Eric Winston, who is also from Texas, has worked with Youngblood since he arrived on campus.

"We would go over film every day," Youngblood said. "There is a learning curve by coming in here, but I feel that I will continue to improve by getting reps in practice."

One of Youngblood's goals for the 2005 season is to play. It is not typical for incoming freshmen along the offensive line to play, but considering the depth chart and Youngblood's talent, he could work himself in on the second unit.

"I just have to show the coaches that I am ready to play," Youngblood said.

Christopher Stock is a Senior Writer & Assistant Editor for CanesTime and can be contacted by emailing him at stock@canestime.com

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