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#1 2018-02-12 10:18:04

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Catch-all: Brown is unanimous All-Pro choice

Darrel Young best game of the season came last Saturday when he scored two touchdowns to help lead Washington 27 24 home upset of Philadelphia.

However, it wasn the fullback best moment at FedEx Field in 2014.

Young had quietly decided to become a Big Brother last May to a 12 year old who needed support while trying to overcome a family tragedy and hardscrabble upbringing. Temporarily living in a shelter is just one of the difficulties Xavier McDonald and his clan have faced.

The family was in a completely different world when watching a preseason contest against Cleveland from a luxury suite three months after Young came into their lives. His courtesy was more than repaid when Young saw the look on the face of Xavier mother Areya France after the game.

"She was just so thankful," Young told FOX Sports last week at his apartment near Redskins Park. "She hugged me and was like, I never thought we be in a situation like this. was like, does things for a reason. I in a situation where I can help you right now. In 15 years I might need you to return the favor when I done playing. McDonald hopes he has forged his own NFL career by that time. Of course, odds are that this bespectacled, precocious seventh grader who has his own physical dimensions memorized down to a tee   "4 foot 8 3/4 and 75.8 pounds"   will be watching the Redskins from a distance rather than playing for his favorite team.

But that dream is secondary. Another far more important wish already was realized when Young entered his life.

"I remember my (middle school) counselor telling me they were giving me a mentor," Xavier said. "They said, likes football. He is African American. And he plays for the Redskins. When I heard that part, I kind of jumped out of fear because players are all big.

"The day before I was going to see him I was losing my mind. My mom and my grandma were telling me just to chill out, that he was just a normal person and you shouldn think of him as a celebrity. It worked."

The two usually meet up twice a week based upon Young football schedule. They wholesale nhl jerseys communicate via phone or text every day and will continue doing so once Young leaves town when the NFL season ends.

Through Young, Xavier has experienced things he wouldn have otherwise. Besides that preseason trip to a Redskins game, Xavier was treated to floor seats for a recent NBA game where Washington Wizards forward Nene tumbled into his lap. He attended a car show. He ate at a fancy steakhouse and saw chefs put on a show preparing his meal at Benihana. Xavier even got to meet his idol: Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III.

Darrel and Xavier took in a Washington Wizards game.

"At first he was a little shy like, can believe this is a Redskins player, Young said. "So we went to Chipotle and I told him, tell me about you. Be open with me. I not a Redskins player anymore. I your big brother. Talk to me now. Tell me about school. What going on? said, angry all the time and I don know why. I said, why God sent me here. rage was being fueled by heartbreak from five years earlier and the financial struggles suffered by his family.

Areya and Kevin McDonald never married and had gone their separate ways after Xavier was born. As Xavier progressed through elementary school, Kevin wanted to become part of his life.

Areya was reluctant because she says Kevin had a troubled past, but eventually agreed to let the two begin cheap jerseys usa speaking by phone. A bond was formed over an 18 month period. Xavier and Kevin finally were set to meet in person.

It never happened. Kevin McDonald died in a July 4, 2009 motorcycle accident just days before he was to meet his son. He was 28 years old.

"A whole year and a half of working on a relationship was torn away," Areya said. "That where Xavier heartache comes in."

Xavier sullenness and mood swings weren helped by an unstable living situation. Areya has admirably tried to wholesale NFL jerseys provide for Xavier and his two younger siblings working as a hairdresser. While staying with her mother in Baltimore, Areya said she would drive more than an hour into Northern Virginia in a car with a cracked windshield that lacked air conditioning and heat in order to get Xavier better schooling.

When living on their own again, Areya said a dispute with her landlord about who would foot the bill for necessary repairs temporarily forced her family into a shelter. The experience left a mark on Xavier that touched the 27 year old Young when the two first met.

"He said, can wait to help my mom, Young said. "I heard that and was like, 12, man. What are you talking about? He just said, tired of living in and out of shelters all the time. I hate rats. I hate not being able to wash my clothes when I want to. I going to try and make it better for him."

Helping others is nothing new for Young. He began getting involved in community service and charity appearances while playing at Villanova, but he has taken it to a much higher level with the Redskins.

Young initially didn stick on Washington roster as a rookie linebacker in 2009. After spending most of that season working at Foot Locker hoping for another NFL chance, Young re signed with the Redskins in January 2010 and subsequently was converted to fullback by incoming head coach Mike Shanahan.

The transition worked. Young has become a key cog as both a blocker and short yardage rusher. He tied the franchise single game record for touchdowns by scoring three last season in an overtime win over San Diego (the game ball is proudly on display in Young dining room). He is a core special teams player.

But to Allie Pisching, Young is even more valuable off the field. He has participated in a whopping 34 community events of all varieties in 2014.

"We put up a list each week of all the opportunities in the community outside the locker room and I think it Darrel personal mission to be the first one to sign up for every single event," said Pisching, who is the manager for the franchise community and charitable programs. "I don even think he reads what it is. He just wants to be there and give back."

Obviously, there are a lot of things going on with domestic violence where two people have basically put a name on the NFL for it. It sucks. But there are a lot of good guys out there who do good things.

And to think that in his early days with the franchise, Young was forced to jerseys wholesale wear a Redskins polo shirt to gatherings because he didn have a customized jersey.

Young reason for such heavy involvement and his encouragement of teammates to do the same is simple.

"I was always in the community but then I started to realize I was impacting some lives," Young said. "I then asked myself, aren I doing this every week? I always tell myself how bored I am here in Ashburn on my off days. Why not just go out there and have some fun with the kids or military? Doing stuff like that has changed me."

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