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Young & Hightower: From Run-Stopper To Lead Blocker

Posted by Christopher Mudd on August 24, 2011 – 9:00 am

AP Image

Fullback Darrel Young and running back Tim Hightower have been working hard together in the backfield this preseason.  But their relationship wasn’t always so amicable.

For three years in college, the two faced off as conference opponents—on opposite sides of the ball. Back then, Young played linebacker at Villanova University, and Hightower was a running back at the University of Richmond.

During Young’s four-year career the Villanova Wildcats and Richmond Spiders split their series at two games each. The same is true about Hightower and his four-year career at Richmond. But because Hightower reached college a year earlier the Young, he hold the slight advantage in head-to-head games over Young (2-1).

“I remember him on special teams–he was taking guys out one by one,” he said with a smile.  “He’s a tough-nosed player. He was always a well-respected player on our team.”


As Hightower recalled, however, he did get the best of Young on occasion.

“I put a couple moves on him,” he said.  “I had to—he’s a hitter. I don’t like getting hit too much.”

Darrell Young also remembers playing against Hightower, and classified his results as getting a hit on him, “every once in awhile.”  He also noted that Hightower can bring the lumber himself.

“I mean he can hit,” he said.  “I felt it a couple times. I’m sure he’s felt me hit him too, because it was competition.”

After three years of beating up on each other, the two now find themselves in the same backfield, on the same side of the ball. Their ability to work together is based on a history of mutual respect.

Hightower praised Young for switching positions after college: “The dude is a hard worker man. It says something about his work ethic to be able to make that transition to fullback, in my opinion as a Pro Bowl-caliber fullback, it just shows what kind of guy he is.”

Instead of running away from Young, Hightower now enjoys running behind him, “It’s just good to have him blocking for me and not trying to hit me,” he said with a laugh.

Young respects Hightower’s leadership on the field.

“You have the younger guys and he’s taking them under his wing,” he said.  “Even though he’s new to the offense he is still a leader.  Anytime you see a guy like that, you wanna be with him.”

“He’s a good player man I’m happy to be next to him,” he added.

The relationship of these two backs could go a long way to determining the Redskins offensive success in 2011.


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2 Responses to “Young & Hightower: From Run-Stopper To Lead Blocker”

  1. By monkeyhouse on Aug 24, 2011 | Reply

    Awesome story. I didn’t realize they had actually faced each other in college. I too am very aware of the Young’s move to offense and have been impressed. I look forward to These two growing throughout the season into a great backfield.

  2. By Ken Fenty on Aug 25, 2011 | Reply

    Yes!

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