Young brings positive message to Front Royal
FRONT ROYAL — Darrel Young knows a little about believing in himself.
The Washington Redskins fullback didn’t make the team in 2009 when he was drafted out of college. However, he came back the next year and has been a fixture of the Redskins ever since.
Young appeared at Dominion Health and Fitness in Front Royal on Monday evening to sign autographs and give a few inspiring words to Redskins fans. He was also there to help promote Believe in One, an organization run by Front Royal resident Daniel Megeath.
“I always say you always got to help people in the situation that you’re in, in terms of being a role model for people,” Young said. “[Megeath] is one of those guys that you want to help. Hearing his story made me want to do it more. … That’s why I’m here supporting him here today in everything that he does, because he’s one of those guys through thick and thin he has your back. And he’s been through just about everything to get to where he is and you just wish a guy like that success.”
Megeath was friends with former Redskin Robert Henson, and that’s how he met Young and the two have been friends since.
“Believe in One, to me — when I first heard it — if you believe in one thing you’ve got to believe in yourself,” Young said. “There’s some opportunities you have in life and you try to take advantage of it. If you believe in yourself, then great things will come because you have to take a risk on yourself.”
Young played linebacker at Villanova University, and was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Redskins. He was cut in September 2009 and then signed with the team again in 2010.
The Redskins decided to move him to fullback. Young said he played at running back in high school, so it wasn’t a big adjustment for him.
“It was an easy transition, because I love the game. If you’re willing to do it, you’ll be OK,” Young said.
In five seasons with the Redskins, Young has 175 yards rushing on 45 carries and seven touchdowns. He has 39 receptions for 410 yards and six receiving touchdowns.
Last year Young started 10 games for the Redskins, and he’s started 33 games in his career.
Young said playing in the NFL is a dream come true.
“It’s been a roller coaster up and down emotionally, physically,” Young said. “I battled through some injuries. But it’s a dream come true. I’m 27, I’m living my dream, speaking at engagements to people and speaking to fans. I’m happy to come out and sign autographs. What else would I rather be doing on a Monday afternoon?”
The Redskins have struggled the last few years, but Young said he believes the team just needs to come together and success will follow.
“We have all the tools that we need,” Young said. “At the end of the day there’s only one team happy and we just want to be that team. We’ve had a lot of change and a lot of drama in terms of people influencing what we’re trying to do as a team. [We need to] eliminate that in the locker room, and just kind of focus on the 53 individuals, or 95 that’s going to be on the team now and try to come together — form this one bond that Seattle’s got and that the Pittsburgh Steelers have had for years.”
There were around 70 fans on hand to see Young on Monday evening, and for Megeath it was a real dream come true.
“It’s what I’ve always dreamt of,” Megeath said. “I laid in bed when I was a kid thinking about these things, bringing these athletes out and doing something extravagant. We had that opportunity tonight.”
Megeath said BiO started out as just a message on a clothing line, and now it’s turned into something bigger.
“I think the big phase for us now is we want our own facility, where we have our own recording studio, we have our own video room, our own audio room,” Megeath said. “We can make the gear in the house, have a gym in the house, have a training facility in the house. We’re going to call it the House of BiO. I’m on record saying it’s the House of Bio and it will exist very soon.”
Even though it’s the offseason for Young, he said he enjoys traveling and spreading positive messages to communities everywhere. Young did so much in 2014 that the Redskins named him the Walter Payton Man of the Year. Each team selects a player for the award to recognize a player’s community service and volunteer efforts.
“You want to be remembered for the positive things you do,” Young said. “Honestly, I got cut and I know what it’s like from the outside looking in, and from the inside looking out. So you just try to take advantage of every opportunity that you may have. You just go for it.”
Contact staff writer Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 168, or firstname.lastname@example.org