Young: "I'm looking forward to ..."

PISCATAWAY, N.J. - The referee blew his whistle, stopping the game clock. Why? What had happened? Rutgers football medical personnel quickly hurried onto the field, attending to Kordell Young lying on the ground. That was last year - this is this year.

After suffering both a torn ACL and LCL on that play, a failed punt block on fourth down, Young underwent surgery and a strenuous rehabilitation program to regain his role in the rotation.

While Young, a running back, remembers the injury, which ended his season prematurely, he remains excited about returning to the field.

"It's exciting to get back," Young said.

A pair of Tuesdays ago, Young competed in limited drills for the first time since the injury, while donning the green "non-contact" attire.

When asked about his running back's practice time, Rutgers coach Greg Schiano responded, "not very much. We just had him do some 7-on-7, some skeleton work. He's right where he needs to be."

Team doctors have not cleared Young for full contact, according to Schiano, but Young continues to strengthen the left knee and expects to be 100% by the summer.

"It started with sitting around and getting iced and being immobilized and doing leg lifts, squats, and then cutting," Young said. "They (medical staff) expect me to be 100% by the summer."

Despite the injury, Young remained engrossed in football, if not competing, then at least watching it from the sidelines and in the film room.

"When I first got hurt, I made sure to stay in the meetings," Young said. "The most difficult part is actually watching the game, watching practice. When they told me I got hurt, I just went with the flow, didn't get upset. But, once you watch the game, you start thinking about it a little bit more."

In the off season, Schiano added a running backs coach, Gary Brown to his staff.

Young admires Brown's expertise and knowledge.

"This spring, we got a new coach," Young said, referring to Brown, an NFL ball carrier for eight seasons. "He's a really good coach, used to be a running back in the (National Football) League. We're learning a lot, about formations on defense."

Young enjoys learning from Brown.

"He's teaching us a lot of new stuff that we never learned before, like reading the defenses," Young said. "I'd rather take it from this perspective than jumping right in there."

It also helps Young that the Scarlet Knights maintain a strong backfield, from the speedy Mason Robinson to the crushing duo of Joe Martinek and Jourdan Brooks.

"They told me to take it slow, not to come back until I'm ready," Young said. "He (Robinson) tells me that he can't wait until I get back so we can all do this together. It's like a big old competition - it's like a friendly competition."

Meanwhile, Robinson has carried the load in Young's absence, rushing with the first offensive unit in spring practice.

Young, nearly ready to go full steam ahead, is a competitor and ready to supply, rather than absorb, some hard-hitting for Rutgers, during the upcoming campaign.

"I'm not looking forward to getting hit," Young said. "I'm looking forward to delivering some hits."

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