Glenville's Curtis Young wraps up bumpy season at Super Bowl on Packers' sideline
Published: Monday, January 31, 2011
By Joey Morona
Green Bay Packers
Curtis Young will be on the sideline for Super Bowl XLV as a member of the Packers' practice squad.
What a whirlwind.
In 10 months, Curtis Young, a former three-sport star at Glenville High, went from NFL castoff to minor- league football castoff to the Super Bowl.
He will be on the Green Bay sideline in Arlington, Texas, as a practice squad linebacker the Packers signed just after Thanksgiving.
Just don?t crane for his No. 60 jersey on your widescreen.
Practice squad players don?t get to suit up. They usually don?t get to travel with the team to road games, either. He was left behind throughout the Packers? thrilling playoff run. He won?t get a cut of the winner?s or loser?s share and has no idea whether he even gets a ring.
But this is the Super Bowl, and Young, 24, is just grateful to be part of it ? given how his bumpy football season has played out.
?Life is like a roller coaster. You?re going to have ups and downs,? he said recently by phone between practices for the big game with Pittsburgh
?I just look at all the obstacles I went through as the downs, and this is my start of a new roller coaster. I?m going back up. That?s how I?m looking at it.?
The Browns and Cincinnati Bengals took a look at Young before and after the 2010 NFL Draft. At 6-1, 270, he was considered too short to play outside linebacker.
With Green Bay this week, it?s Young?s job to help the Packers prepare for All-Pro Pittsburgh linebacker James Harrison, a Coventry High graduate and a 6-0 Kent State long shot who also was discarded as undersized.
Harrison also happens to be one of Young?s two favorite players ? along with stellar Indianapolis defensive end Dwight Freeney ? and an inspiration growing up because he outperforms his height.
?I think I can be better,? Young said. ?I just need the opportunity.? Young still lives across the street from Glenville, where he was a standout in football, basketball and track.
Then, Young went by Curtis Smith ? taking the last name of his mother, Roxine Smith, from kindergarten through 12th grade. In college, he changed his name to the one on his birth certificate, Curtis Young, because of the financial paperwork involved for his football scholarship.