Eastern adds Omar Young to coaching staff

JJ Bullock, Sports Editor

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Former Green Bay Packers offensive quality control coach Omar Young was hired Thursday to be the running backs coach at Eastern.

Young is the 15th member that head coach Adam Cushing has added to his staff since being hired in December to lead the program.

Young spent two seasons working with the Green Bay Packers as an offensive quality control coach, and also worked with the Cleveland Browns prior to that in 2015 as an offensive assistant coach focused on running backs.

Cushing tweeted on Thursday following the hiring of Young, that he was “THRILLED” to have (Young) join the Eastern family.

“He’s a high energy person, an incredible mentor, an excellent teacher, and a high character individual,” the tweet read.

Young inherits a group of running backs that lost the team’s leading rusher, Isaiah Johnson, from last season since he graduated. However, returners Jamal Scott and Robert Columbus remain in the group.

Scott ran for 395 yards last season and averaged 5.7 yards per carry. Columbus ran for just 3.1 yards per carry last season. Former running back Darshon McCullough has been moved to the safety position.

The Panthers’ last season hosted the second worst rushing team in the OVC, averaging just 136.5 yards per game.

Eastern added two running backs on signing day who will come into the program as freshman next season; David Hardwick from Roselle, Ill. and Jaelin Hayes-Benefield from Pearson, Texas.

It will be up to Young and new offensive coordinator John Kuceyeski to revive a rushing attack that was stagnant for most of last season.

Eastern will also be replacing a majority of its starting offensive line from last season as tackles Josh Doyle and Aaron Callaway both graduated and center Eliki Tanuvasa and guard Johari Branch both left the program.

A lot of change is coming for Eastern’s rushing personnel, from running backs, to coaches and even to the people blocking for them up front. But on Thursday Eastern solidified that Young will be the one coaching the group.

JJ Bullock can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]