Landon Young starred at Lexington’s Lafayette High School, and now the former 5-star left tackle is in line for a starting spot with hometown Kentucky.
Senior Cole Mosier was projected to start for the Wildcats at left tackle, but Mosier tore the ACL in his right knee during Kentucky’s scrimmage on Saturday. The devastating blow leaves a hole along UK’s offensive line — a hole that Young likely will fill.
The sophomore was listed as Kentucky’s second-team left tackle behind Mosier on the preseason depth chart. Eric Shaw, Young’s coach at Lafayette, is confident in Young’s ability to replace Mosier.
“When you expect to be in that position, nothing is difficult about it,” Shaw told SEC Country on Monday. “He’ll be just fine. Mentally he’s a very strong, confident individual.”
If Young assumes the role, it won’t be the first time he steps up in Mosier’s absence. Mosier injured an ankle in Week 2 against Florida last season, and it was Young who filled in as a true freshman. Mosier ended up missing three games last season.
“Coach [John Schlarman] kind of joked, ‘You got dipped in gasoline and thrown into the fire,’” Young said of playing last season at Kentucky media day. “I wouldn’t have it any other way. It would’ve been nice to have a redshirt season to develop my body, but now being able to go back and look at what I did, I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
Young was the No. 1 player in Kentucky coming out of high school. He was ranked the No. 83 prospect in the 2016 class and the No. 7 offensive tackle, according to the 247Sports composite rankings.
Lafayette produced back-to-back 5-star offensive tackles in Young and Alabama freshman Jedrick Wills. Kentucky lost out on Wills, but Shaw said the Wildcats had long been No. 1 for Young.
“That’s where he chose to go and he takes pride in that commitment,” Shaw said. “He takes pride in the school and in himself as a young man and football player.”
Lafayette has produced Young, Wills and Kentucky freshman quarterback Walker Wood all in the last two years. Shaw said all three are neck-and-neck as far as the best players he’s ever coached.
Young was a multi-sport star at Lafayette. He captured state track-and-field titles in the shot put and discus and won the heavyweight wrestling title in his senior year.
“There wasn’t no time off for him,” Shaw said. “Those things, and being athletic and being as big as he is, sky’s the limit. I expect him to play on Sundays.”