Greatest Wildcats Jersey Countdown: #76

#76 Ryan Young (OT) 1994-1998

Why?: He towered over his opposition. Standing 6-6 and weighing 330 pounds, Ryan Young was simply imposing. Young was yet another great offensive tackle to join the Wildcats in the early bowl seasons. Following one year after Todd Weiner, Young would break the starting lineup in 1996, holding down the right tackle spot opposite Todd Weiner. From this position, Young would open the outside holes for the Wildcat running game, giving the Cats a powerful blocker to create running lanes. Young earned third team All-Conference honors that season, setting the stage for an impressive junior season. Young continued to hold down the right tackle spot for 1997, teaming with arguably the greatest collection of offensive linemen in school history. Young finished the season with another third team All-Conference selection. By 1998, Weiner was gone and Young had moved to left tackle, the towering lineman now blocking the blind side of Michael Bishop. Many Wildcats were honored that season, and Young was no exception, becoming a first team All-Conference selection and a third team All-American. Young was drafted in the 7th round by the New York Jets and played 5 seasons in the NFL for the Jets, Texans, and Cowboys.

Most Memorable Game: Northeast Louisiana (now LA-Monroe) may not be a marquee opponent, but the Wildcat made certain they didn’t overlook this team. The Wildcats dominated the game, winning 62-7 in racking up 607 yards of offense, good for second all-time. Young admirably protected Michael Bishop, allowing the star quarterback to total 475 yards of offense, 441 of them coming in the air. Without the punishing blocks of Young, Bishop might not have been able to achieve this dynamic performance.

Current Player on the Roster Wearing #76: Josh Rivas – Junior OL

Odds to Replace Young on This List: 50%. Rivas has easily the best chance among offensive lineman to unseat a player on this list. He already has earned 2nd Team All-Big 12 honors, a feat Young did not outdo until his senior season, and Rivas still has two seasons to go. If projections are right and he becomes a dominant interior lineman the next two seasons, he could definitely earn himself a spot here.

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