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Young 'Excited' About Youthful Backfield

Posted Mar 16, 2012

Darrel Young is the only fullback on the Redskins' roster following the release of Mike Sellers on March 12. At age 24, he is part of a young backfield with great potential.


Darrel Young knows nothing is guaranteed.

Still, he is the only fullback on the Redskins’ roster now that Mike Sellers is no longer with the team.

And there is an opportunity to secure the position long-term.

Young completed his second full season as a Redskins fullback but first as a regular starter.

He started eight of 13 games. He missed two games with a hamstring injury and a third game due to a concussion.

His primary role? Dish out punishment as a blocker for the run game. Given his 5-11, 256-pound frame, he has the physicality to be an imposing presence in the Redskins’ backfield.

Young had six rushes for 33 yards and one touchdown, a 3-yard score in a Week 15 win against the New York Giants. He also caught 14 passes for 138 yards.

Young has come a long way since he first joined the Redskins in 2009 as a linebacker. He transitioned to fullback under head coach Mike Shanahan a year later and earned a roster spot.

Young gradually worked himself into more playing time, eventually replacing Sellers in the lineup.

He is clearly improving in the eyes of Shanahan.

“DY is a good football player,” Shanahan said. “He’s what you look for in a football player. Making the transition from linebacker to fullback sometimes is very tough, but he has stepped up and he has played at a very good level.

“I expect him to play at that level in the future. He is very sharp, very conscientious, very passionate, and very well-prepared.”

Young foresees a bright future for the Redskins’ offense, especially the young backfield with Roy Helu and Evan Royster coming off their rookie seasons.

The Redskins’ ground game struggled midseason last year but came on strong in November and December, with Helu posting three consecutive 100-yard efforts from Weeks 12-14 and Royster posting two consecutive 100-yard games from Weeks 16-17.

“I’m excited just to be able to block for those guys,” Young said. “They had success in college and now they’re bringing it to the league. Anytime you can block for guys like that – they’re going to make me look good, hopefully.”

They could be together for a while, too. Young and Royster are 24, while Helu is 23.

Young said he likes how the roster is coming together.

“We have a lot more hungry guys, guys who want to compete,” he said. “We have the character, we have the personality, we have the passion and determination, all of that.

“It was definitely disappointing anytime you end up with the record we had last year, but we have something to look forward to. We didn’t get down on ourselves. We believed in ourselves.”