Youngblood chooses Lions
Charles Prince, Hartselle Enquirer
The blood that powered the heart of the Hartselle Tiger offense in 2004 will power the University of North Alabama Lions for the next four years.
Justin Youngblood, nicknamed "Blood," by his teammates, signed a football scholarship with the Florence based school on Feb. 2, college football's national signing day.
The Hartselle senior was named to the Class 5A Alabama Sports Writers Association All-State football team in 2004 after rushing for 1,842 and 25 touchdowns.
He also scored twice on kickoff returns and may be used as a kick-returner by the Lion's coaching staff.
Youngblood described by Hartselle head coach Bob Godsey as "one of the hardest workers I've been around," will play in a college offense similar to the one he played in the past two seasons.
"They run out of the shotgun a lot and use the spread formation," Youngblood said. "They load up with four wide receivers just like we did. It's pretty much everything we ran."
The blocking schemes at UNA and Hartselle are identical, meaning Youngblood will make the same reads and cuts off the offensive lineman's blocks as he did in high school.
"The offenses are pretty much the same," Youngblood said.
"That and the coaching staff really seemed to like me and really wanted me to be a part of their team."
Youngblood, who gained 2,680 total yards in 2004 while leading the Tigers to a 9-3 record and a trip to the second-round of the state playoffs, was impressed with the school's strength and conditioning program.
"I liked their weight room and the lifting program they have," Youngblood said. "I think they have the right program for me. I liked everything about the school and the team."
Youngblood said the UNA coaching staff isn't sure if he will be redshirted as a freshman.
"They are not only getting a good football player, but their also getting a good young man," Godsey said.
"This is exciting to see how hard work can pay off with good things. It closes one chapter of his career, but it opens another one and the new one can be special."