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Herd linebacker Young’s presence felt in debut

Junior+linebacker+Juwon+Young+enters+the+field+at+Jerry+Richardson+Stadium+in+Charlotte%2C+North+Carolina+for+his+first+game+in+a+Thundering+Herd+uniform+after+serving+a+suspension+for+the+first+four+games+of+the+year.
Junior linebacker Juwon Young enters the field at Jerry Richardson Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina for his first game in a Thundering Herd uniform after serving a suspension for the first four games of the year.

Junior linebacker Juwon Young enters the field at Jerry Richardson Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina for his first game in a Thundering Herd uniform after serving a suspension for the first four games of the year.

Richard Crank

Richard Crank

Junior linebacker Juwon Young enters the field at Jerry Richardson Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina for his first game in a Thundering Herd uniform after serving a suspension for the first four games of the year.


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Marshall football gained a key piece of its defense back prior to kick off against the Charlotte 49ers in linebacker Juwon Young, a transfer from Miami (Fla.).

Young was suspended for the first four games this season for violating department rules while with the Hurricanes in June 2016.

“He’s had no issues here at all, but when he transferred here, that part with Miami carried over,” Herd head coach Doc Holliday said in his preseason press conference in August.

Holliday and the Marshall coaching staff knew what kind of player Young could be thanks to his performance with the Hurricanes in 2015, where he earned the starting job midway through the season because of injuries and finished second on the team with 57 tackles in just 10 games.

Young made his presence felt early against Charlotte Saturday, sacking 49er quarterback Hasaan Klugh on the second play of the game.

“I’m happy to be back,” Young said. “I sat out a year and half, so I was ready to get to it. It helped settled me down, and once I get back in the groove, it’s on from there.”

The Albany, Georgia native’s start against Charlotte marked the first time he stepped on the field for a game since Dec. 26, 2015, when Miami (Fla.) played in the Sun Bowl in El Paso, Texas against Washington State.

While he was serving his suspension, Young was worked into practice with the second-string defense and got a lot of attention from strength and conditioning coach Luke Day.

“While everybody was practicing, I was practicing too, but I was more so getting conditioned and getting ready to sit out the first four games,” Young said. “I had to come back ready – 10 toes down – just had to hit the ground running.”

Although Young did not play for more than a year, he was able to use his transfer year in 2016 and spring and fall camps to get familiar with his teammates on the defensive unit.

“I felt like I had chemistry with the defense throughout the spring and (fall) camp,” Young said. “Four weeks sitting out didn’t really backtrack me too much. So, when I got in everything just worked together.”

Most of Young’s surroundings were new when he arrived on campus, but he had a familiar face in Huntington when he arrived.

His former roommate at Miami (Fla.) is also a member of the Herd football team, wide receiver Tyre Brady.

“It was exciting for me to just see him in the hotel, on the busses and then suiting up in the locker room on game day,” Brady said. “I knew all the hard work he’s put in to get to this point and now he’s out there.”

As excited as Young was to get back on the field, Brady may have been just as excited when Young made his first sack in a Herd uniform.

“I started jumping up and down on the sidelines,” Brady said. “I was like ‘let’s go Juwon.’ It was great to see him out there flying around and making plays. We know what he brings to this team, and we’re excited to have him.”

The two former Hurricanes said they are always pulling for the other.

“We always root each other on,” Young said. “He always saying ‘I can’t wait for you to get that big hit,’ and I’m always saying ‘I can’t wait for you to get six in the end zone and throw it up.’”

Young finished the game with four tackles, 0.5 sacks and tackles for loss, a pass breakup and two quarterback hurries in his Marshall debut.

Young and the Herd are back in Conference USA action Saturday against the Old Dominion Monarchs for Marshall’s homecoming with kickoff set for 2:30 p.m. ET.

Adam Rogers can be contacted at [email protected]

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