Josh Youngblood’s growing role with Rutgers football the byproduct of hard work

·2 min read

PISCATAWAY, N.J. — Last season, Josh Youngblood didn’t have a very large role with the Rutgers football program, at least not to start the year. But if Saturday’s season opener points to anything, it shows an increasing responsibility for Youngblood this year.

Youngblood returned kicks, was featured in multiple wide receiver packages and even lined up for one snap as a Wildcat quarterback. It was a full range of athleticism on display in Rutgers’ 22-21 win at Boston College.

He had one catch for five yards, one rush for three yards and two kickoff returns for a total of 53 yards. It was encouraging output for Youngblood, now in his second season at Rutgers after transferring from Kansas State.

Last week, head coach Greg Schiano talked about the impact he felt Youngblood would have in the offense. He said that the playmaker began to show improvement as last season wore on, culminating in an increased role in the Gator Bowl.

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Youngblood pointed to a change in his approach at the mid-point of last season that allowed him to start earning more looks within the offense.

“I’d just say I just started working harder than ever. I just pride myself on hard work,” Youngblood said on Thursday.

“And you know, sometimes when you’re not playing, you can kind of get lost in not working hard, but I just had to dig deep, keep working hard, keep working hard. And then I got a little breakthrough which was the Gator Bowl.

“And I was able to play so it felt good seeing my hard work pay off. “

Now a wide receiver, Youngblood played quarterback while in high school at Berkley Prepatory School (Tampa, FL). So while Saturday’s one snap out of the Wildcat wasn’t exactly foreign to him, it is something that could be a part of the offense for Rutgers.

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Youngblood has speed and the fact that he can throw a nice pass makes him a nice wrinkle in offensive coordinator Sean Gleeson’s offense. It is role that Youngblood sounds willing to embrace.

“It felt good but I can’t really get caught up in it too much. I’m grateful I got back there so we’ll see what happens,” Youngblood said.

“We’ll see what happens, we’ll see what happens. I’ll go talk with coach Gleason.”

Story originally appeared on Rutgers Wire