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FOOTBALL

Rocklin to welcome Offensive Line MVP into freshman class

Promising frosh makes Ultimate 100
By: Jim Linsdau Placer Herald Sports Editor
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Rocklin High?s head football coach Greg Benzel has a player already winning football awards and as a student he is yet to set foot on campus. Local eighth-grader Noah Young developed rapidly as an offensive lineman in only three years. He started playing for a junior league in Woodcreek and then played for the Rocklin Jr. Thunder the last two years. He progressed so fast as the starting center that he was invited to compete in the National Underclassman Combine at Rio Linda High in May. The combine included high school freshman and sophomore players as well. Young, who attended Granite Oaks Middle School, so impressed the NUC judges that he was named Offensive Line MVP of the camp. ?He wasn?t the fastest, he wasn?t the one who jumped the highest,? said Laurie Young of her son, ?but where he really excelled is when it came to one-on-one drills.? The drill where Noah caught the coach?s eye was one in which the offensive and defensive linemen were split up and each offensive player had to keep a defensive player from reaching a tackling dummy placed behind the offense. It earned him most valuable player. Young played offensive center for the Jr. Thunder and was so effective his coaches were reluctant to let him play defense for fear of injury. However, against Whitney, he was allowed in on defense near the end of the game. He recorded a sack and three tackles for losses. ?I love center, but wherever the team needs me is where I?ll play,? said Noah Young. ?I love football all around but I just played center at Rocklin for two years and I just love it. It?s fun.? Laurie Young confessed she wouldn?t let him play football in the beginning for fear he might get hurt. However, some coaches at Del Oro convinced her that Noah was built to play football With her 14-year-old son standing 5 feet 11 inches tall and weighing 200 pounds she found it hard to argue with that logic and gave in. And Noah Young looks at it just as logically. ?You?ve just got to accept what God gave you and how you?re built,? he said of being on the line. ?So, if I was built to be a quarterback I wouldn?t be doing this story.? This is probably the first of many awards in Noah Young?s future as he now moves on to compete in the Ultimate 100 in Los Angeles June 29. He automatically qualified for the event hosted by RIVALS.com. ESPN and Scout.com will also be on hand as information from this and the NUC are sent to college recruiters across the country. Noah Young also wrestled and competed in track at Granite Oaks. He?s a good student and as a Jr. Thunder learned the blocking assignments for 200 plays taken from the Thunders? playbook. I fact, he knew them so well he was asked to call the blocking schemes on offense. Noah Young and his mother are aware of the concerns over concussions. She plans to get him a state-of-the-art helmet and he uses the proper technique when blocking. ?Stay low with your arms extended. You have to gain the right leverage,? said Noah Young. ?If you lead with your head that throws you off balance and the defensive lineman can throw you to the ground. ?I?ve had two concussions,? he added, ?and one was from snowboarding and the other was skateboarding.? Noah Young said his favorite offensive play was one in which he gets to brush block the defensive guard and then take out the linebacker. It probably would be a good idea if Thunder opponents invest in good helmets as well.