When D.J. Young runs out onto the Percival Molson Memorial Stadium football field Friday night, he's going to have plenty of things dancing through his mind.
It'll be the first start for the Ottawa RedBlacks offensive lineman. So there's that excitement, that importance. But he knows what the game means to his team, with the RedBlacks in a dogfight with their opponents, the Alouettes. Yes, it is possible for two 1-7 teams to be thinking playoffs near the midpoint of the CFL season.
To get to this point, to get into a position to play a CFL game, there's been plenty of gruntwork for Young. Out of Michigan State, the 26-year-old, 6-foot-5, 298-lb., Young bounced around the NFL -- from Arizona to Cleveland to New York (Jets) to St. Louis. After a quick stop in Hamilton with the Ticats, he was picked up by the RedBlacks, where he watched and learned on the practice roster.