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Austin Young was special

December 1, 2011
By Dennis Grall - Sports Editor ( , Daily Press

ESCANABA - The name of Austin Young will be spread across the Escanaba High School football record page when the 2012 program is printed.

The sparkling senior quarterback enjoyed two fabulous seasons as a starter, and also played a couple of games as a sophomore.

This season he was named to the Associated Press all-state team in Division 3-4 after earning U.P. offensive player of the year honors. He was the U.P. Dream Team quarterback and made the U.P. Big School team as a return specialist.

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Dennis Grall

He was also a solid defensive back.

The statistics were compiled by assistant coach Jim Hansen, who looked at film of every game played by Young, checking it three times to make sure the numbers were accurate. The Daily Press and WYKX-FM radio also handled the game stats, but Hansen's will be used for Young's official numbers.

Hansen also reviewed game film to determine the statistics for Mitch VanEffen, the 2009 U.P. offensive player of the year, to confirm his school records.

Young joins a legendary cast of Eskymo standouts. In my opinion, he most closely resembles Nick Bink, the 1989 U.P. offensive player of the year who went on to play quarterback and defensive back at Northern Michigan University.

They were extremely elusive, slippery runners with good passing skills as their secondary threat.

Since arriving at this desk in 1970, I have been fortunate to witness several outstanding Eskymos who also earned U.P. and all-state honors. The standouts, among numerous players, include Wayne Schwalbach, Jeff Nault, Dean Altobelli and Charlie Bush. They had exceptional careers and went on to play Division 1 football. VanEffen is playing at Minnesota-Duluth, a top D-2 program.

Young has established nine school records, five season marks and four career marks.

He scored 220 points this season, highlighted by 35 touchdowns passing and running. He ran for 2,011 yards in the 7-4 season on 202 carries and also completed 82 passes.

His career marks include: 398 points (running and passing), 62 touchdowns (running and passing), 402 rushing attempts and 3,004 yards rushing.

Young's 220 points and 35 total touchdowns rank third all-time in the U.P. and 28th in the state.

Watching someone like Young is fascinating, from the grandstands, the sidelines or as an opposing defender. It is akin to watching Michigan's Denard Robinson, albeit at a higher level. Quarterback is their position but flex back might be a better term.

Young has the power to break tackles, the speed to run away from tacklers, the elusiveness to make tacklers miss, and the instinct of when to take off and when to swerve. That is pretty much the whole package, and operating out of the spread formation made the best use of his skill set.

A special player in Esky history.



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