Mark Story

UK Sports Mailbag: Landon Young’s loss, Kash Daniel’s future and UK’s own ‘Rocky Top’?

Kentucky left tackle Landon Young (67) was expected to be one of the cornerstones on the 2018 UK offensive line before a torn ACL ended his 2018 season before it began.
Kentucky left tackle Landon Young (67) was expected to be one of the cornerstones on the 2018 UK offensive line before a torn ACL ended his 2018 season before it began. cbertram@herald-leader.com

Three days before Kentucky opens its 2018 football season at home against Central Michigan, this week’s UK Sports Mailbag is heavy with questions about Mark Stoops’ Wildcats:

Question one from email: Landon Young’s injury seems devastating to UK’s chances this fall. My initial reaction was ‘This will cost UK one and maybe two victories they were counting on.’ I don’t have any particular games in mind. It just seems that his absence cuts out a lot of the team’s strength.

“My impression is that Young is not only exceptionally able, but he provides a lot of leadership. Am I right, or am I overreacting?”

— Signed, Lamenting Landon’s Loss

Mark’s reply: I think you are overreacting a bit. We don’t really know how the loss of Landon Young, to a torn ACL in his left knee, will affect the UK season. After all, we’ve never seen either of the guys vying to replace him as Kentucky’s starting left tackle play in a college game.

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Naasir Watkins (66) will be out for several weeks, leaving Kentucky short at left tackle, Coach Mark Stoops said on Monday before the Cats travel to Texas A&M. Charles Bertram cbertram@herald-leader.com

The UK coaches talked up the potential of Naasir Watkins, now a redshirt freshman, all last year. Sophomore E.J. Price began his career at USC, which would suggest some level of ability.

Obviously, having an experienced left tackle like Young would be better as Kentucky breaks in a new starting quarterback, Terry Wilson, who has never played in an FBS game.

Kentucky does, however, still have four returning starters on its offensive line. So we’ll just have to see how impactful the loss of Landon Young turns out to be.

Actually, the guy whose loss to a medical issue will, I suspect, hurt Kentucky the most in 2018 is sophomore defensive tackle Josh Paschal.

The Olney, Md., product is out indefinitely while being treated for a malignant melanoma on a foot.

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