Rookie receiver Titus Young was a bystander for most of Lions training camp this season with a hamstring injury. It wasn’t until the end of camp that Young got back on the practice field, but the late start was less than ideal heading into his first NFL season.
Consequently, Young was inconsistent through the first seven weeks of the season as he tried to find his bearings.
It wasn’t until Week 8 that Young recorded his first NFL touchdown and that seemed to be a springboard for the rest of the season. He scored six touchdowns over the team’s final nine games and showed the potential to be a reliable No. 2 receiver moving forward.
For his efforts, Young was voted the Lions Mel Farr Rookie of the Year by his teammates.
“The sky is the limit for this kid,” said Lions receivers coach Shawn Jefferson. “This kid is one of the most talented receivers I’ve seen a while.
“You look at him and see he’s a small guy but he has the heart of a lion. I love his attitude. He thinks he’s Calvin Johnson. That’s a good and a bad thing. I love the energy and juice he brings to our group.”
Young showed tons of promise with 48 catches for 607 yards and six touchdowns this season. He averaged 12.6 yards per catch, finishing seventh among rookies in catches and yards and fourth in touchdowns.
“He wants so bad for people to mention him when they’re mentioning Calvin and Nate (Burleson) that he goes out there and busts his butt,” Jefferson said.
Young had some rookie moments (a personal foul against the Saints in the regular season and slowing up on a touchdown a week later against the Vikings) but he learned from those errors and never repeated the same mistake twice.
Young has already established himself as the team’s best route-runner and might have the best pair of hands, too. The Lions appear to have found the third receiver they’ve been searching years for. The way Young played as a rookie, the Lions have feel like they now have two No. 2 receivers on the roster in Burleson and Young.
The rookie of the year award is given in honor of Mel Farr, who enjoyed one of the finest rookie campaigns in team history. In 1967, Farr led the Lions in both rushing (860 yards) and receiving (317) and tied for the club lead with six touchdowns. As a result, he was named the Lions’ Offensive MVP and was honored as the NFL Rookie of the Year by the Sporting News.
Tags: Calvin Johnson, Nate Burleson, Shawn Jefferson, Titus Young
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