Last year was beginning to look positive for Kordell Young from the opening kickoff. It was on that kickoff against Buffalo where he started Rutgers season with a 56 yard return.
The redshirt sophomore Young was slated to be Ray Rice's backup until he injured his leg in the third game of the year against Norfolk State. It took him all the way up until the summer to fully recover from the injury.
A year later he's back and with Ray Rice gone, is looking to lineup behind Mike Teel full-time. After being out for so long, Young was hungry to get back on the field during his injury stint and is thrilled to be back on the field at 100 percent.
"While I hung out watching everybody there was a burn inside me to get back on the field," Young said.
While he was shadowing Rice, Young was able to learn from the Scarlet Knights all-time leading rusher pointers that will help him through the rest of his tenure such as how to compose himself during the season.
"He was good at teaching about things that happen in the game," Young said. "He taught me how to handle myself in the game, how to handle the crowd and to always play your hardest."
Getting the starting job won't be easy though. To get that prized position, Young has to compete with Mason Robinson, Joe Martinek and Jourdan Brooks. The competition is stiff, but all the backs agree that it's friendly. Rutgers is a tight-knit family and while they all want to get the bulk of the carries, they also want to see each other improve and make strides towards becoming a better player.
"I think we all help each other everyday," he said. "It's a friendly competition. We all want to play, but we make sure everyone is getting better."
Being out for so long did take the all-purpose back out of West Deptford High School out of the flow of the game. One thing he has going for him is game experience. When he does take the field for the 2008 season, he's seen live action and has a taste for what game-speed is.
As a freshman, Young averaged 4.8 yards on 29 carries and had three touchdowns.
There are still some kinks in the armor that he needs to work out from being out so long, but so far he said he's having a good camp.
"There's a little rust," he said. "But camp is good so far."
Kordell Young Is Back & Ready to Compete
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