WASHINGTON (CBS) — Darrel Young was a standout linebacker and safety at Villanova before graduating after the 2008 season. He signed a rookie free agent deal in 2009 and spent some time on the practice squad. This year he finally made the Redskins 53-man roster. But as a fullback. While it’s a big switch to move from defense to offense, especially at the pro level, being in the backfield really isn’t that foreign to Young.
“I actually went to college as a running back,” he says. “They switched me over to linebacker and then to strong safety once we got there just because of some position changes and guys decomitting, so I was the next available linebacker. So they brought another running back in and I ended up staying on defense.”
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Young says his four years patrolling the back seven of the Villanova defense has helped make the tranistion to NFL fullback a bit easier.
“Just to know what safeties do when they are blitzing and when they are not – when they are showing Cover One and stuff like that. Just some of the tendencies,” he says.
Young’s touches on offense have been limited; most of his action has come on special teams and as a blocker. But he did catch his first NFL touchdown pass in that Monday night loss to the Eagles earlier this month, getting the chance to shine when starting fullback Mike Sellers went down with an injury.
“My number was called and I felt like I had to step up to the challenge, and it really wasn’t a challenge because I only look at challenges as things you’ve never been through. So I’ve been put in that situation a lot of times and I felt like they trusted me so they put me in and I capitalized.”
Reported by Matt Leon, KYW Newsradio 1060.