By Kevin Eckleberry Sports Editor
October 18, 2013
He felt at home.
When Marquius Young arrived at LaGrange College to join the football team before the 2011 season, that’s one of the first things he noticed.
Young was embraced and welcomed to his new home, and he said that feeling hasn’t changed since then.
“I’ve loved it so far,” said Young, a senior from West Hall High School in Gainesville. “When I transferred, I was welcomed as a part of the family real quickly. That was a change for me. That had a lot to do with why I transferred in the first place. I didn’t feel like I belonged. When I got here, I was accepted with open arms. I’ve loved it here. It’s been a great opportunity. I’m blessed.”
On the field, Young’s role has changed.
He started out as a running back, and he played in six games in 2011 and had 148 rushing yards.
Heading into the 2012 season, running back was a position of strength for the Panthers, and there was a need at wide receiver.
So Young was moved to receiver, and he was third on the team with 12 catches and started all 10 games.
Now, in the Panthers’ new-look, pass-oriented offense, Young is back at running back.
He is the team’s second-leading rusher with 158 yards, and he also had a pair of touchdowns.
Young had his best game of the season last week against Maryville when he had 12 carries for 53 yards.
Young has also continued to be a part of the passing game, and he has nine catches out of the backfield.
“We asked him to move to slot so we could get him on the field (in 2012),” LaGrange College head coach Todd Mooney said. “He’s at home now, and happy to be at home.”
Young, like all of the returning players, has had to adjust to a new offense this season.
The Panthers were a run-oriented team last year, but now under offensive coordinator Matt Mumme, they are getting it done with a fast-paced attack where the passing game rules.
Graham Craig, a junior quarterback, is averaging close to 400 yards per game, and he has 19 touchdowns in five games.
A key to the offense’s success so far is the number of people getting involved, with 14 players catching at least one pass.
Young said it has been a blast being a part of this offense that averages 36 points a game.
“There’s nothing more fun than playing in an offense that scores a lot of points,” Young said. “Our quarterback does a great job, as well as our coach drawing up plays to make sure everyone gets involved in the offense. It’s all about having fun. That’s what we’re doing, scoring points and having fun. Graham does an exceptional job getting players in spots and positions so we can all succeed. We’re all comfortable.”