UK Football

‘Your character lasts forever.’ Landon Young celebrated for community service record.

Kentucky football player Landon Young surprised with Allstate AFCA Good Works Team trophy

Kentucky football player Landon Young was presented with a trophy recognizing his being named to the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team at Cambridge Place Nursing Home, September 12, 2019.
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Kentucky football player Landon Young was presented with a trophy recognizing his being named to the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team at Cambridge Place Nursing Home, September 12, 2019.

University of Kentucky offensive tackle Landon Young learned earlier in the day that he was one of 22 college football players named to the 2019 Allstate/American Football Coaches Association Good Works Team.

He was caught off guard, though, when presented with a trophy recognizing that honor at Cambridge Place, a senior living center in Lexington where he’s volunteered in the past.

Young was led to believe he would be part of a photo shoot. Plenty of photos were taken, but it was done in honor of the community service he’s performed during his time at UK.

“This is what everyone should strive for on the football field, because football only lasts so much,” Young said. “But your character lasts forever. Being able to go out here and do this for people is a lot better than going out on the football field and doing something good.”

Young served as part of a mission trip to Ethiopia in May along with teammates Calvin Taylor Jr. and Jamar “Boogie” Watson. Young has on seven unique occasions been a guest speaker at Lexington churches and elementary schools, speaking about life, adversity and his faith. He’s volunteered at numerous charitable organizations around Lexington.

He met Tim Biggs, a former trainer under Fran Curci at UK, during one the Wildcats’ home games. Biggs suggested coming to visit the residents at Cambridge Place, and Young said he’s had the opportunity to come do that 4-5 times while he’s been in college.

He tried to visit without the mystique of celebrity, to no avail.

“Mr. Biggs tends to tell ’em that I’m a football player,” Young said with a grin. “But when they first talk to me, no one knows and I like to keep it that way. It’s not about me being a football player and coming here, it’s about me, Landon the guy, just a school student coming here to spend some time with them.”

Young’s parents, Randall and Angela, were on hand to help surprise him. This recognition is the epitome of what they could want from their son.

Angela said Landon has always connected with the elderly, going back to when he helped Randall serve communion at their church as a child.

“We had a village,” Angela said of raising Landon. “We had wonderful parents and grandparents and people that surrounded us all through our lives.”

Young, a junior, was named Southeastern Conference Offensive Lineman of the Week on Monday following UK’s 38-17 win over Eastern Michigan. He has started both games this season after missing all of last year with an ACL injury.

The Allstate/AFCA Good Works Team recognizes 22 football players — 11 FBS players and 11 others from across FCS, Division II, Division III and NAIA — and an honorary coach (Clemson’s Dabo Swinney earned that distinction this year). South Carolina linebacker Spencer Eason-Riddle and Georgia quarterback Jake Fromm were also recognized from the Southeastern Conference.

Fans through Nov. 22 can cast a vote once per day for the player they believe should be named captain of the team, all members of which will be invited to take part in a special community service project ahead of the 2020 Allstate Sugar Bowl in January.

UK since the Good Works Team was founded in 1992 has had 15 players named, tying Nebraska for second-most all time. Georgia has had the most selections with 20.

UK’s All-Time “Good Works” Team Members

Recognized by College Football Association 1992-1998; recognized by AFCA since 1999

1992: Doug Pelfrey, kicker

1994: Leon Smith, split end

1996: Kurt Supe, defensive end

1998: Jimmy Carter, punter

1999: Seth Hanson, kicker

2000: Matt Layow, defensive end

2002: Antonio Hall, offensive tackle

2004: Antoine Huffman, cornerback

2006: Jacob Tamme, tight end

2008: Tim Masthay, punter

2011: Jake Lewellen, defensive end

2014: Max Godby, offensive guard

2015: Landon Foster, punter

2017: Courtney Love, linebacker

2019: Landon Young, offensive tackle

Josh Moore is in his first year covering the University of Kentucky football team and in his fifth year reporting for the Lexington Herald-Leader, where he’s been employed since 2009. Moore, a Martin County native, graduated from UK with a B.A. in Integrated Strategic Communication and English in 2013. He’s a huge fan of the NBA, Power Rangers and country music.
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