It’s meant to be. Vince Young belongs in Texas. He’s always belonged in Texas. More specifically, he belongs in Austin.
The recent decision by the Texas Longhorns to hire Vince Young for a position to work with first-generation college students should have made everybody realize that. As you can see in the reports here, Young will be working with students who are from low-income families and the first in their families to go to college.
After all the turmoil, all the drama, all the tension, and all the depression of the past seven years, Young is back where he belongs. Possibly the greatest Texas Longhorn ever, his marriage to Texas was made more complete after he received his degree, the first in his family to receive a college degree, in 2013.
Young was never a bad person. Maybe immature at times. Maybe thin-skinned. Maybe not cut out for the pressure of NFL Football after winning everywhere he was at before then. But his intentions were always good, and his heart was always in the right place.
This is a guy who was beloved by his high school fans in Houston, then he became a very popular figure in Austin, lead the Longhorns to a national championship, the only one for Mack Brown, and let’s not forget he had times where he was loved in Tennessee. Remember Titans fans were all on his bandwagon after his rookie year, and they got back on his bandwagon after he got the starting job back from Kerry Collins in 2009 and took an 0-6 team on an 8-2 run to close the season.
There’s no reason to say he couldn’t play NFL football. He simply needed to develop patience, and playing for a coach who didn’t want him from the start in Jeff Fisher only made things worse. Fisher unfortunately won the character battle.
Despite Mack Brown calling Young the greatest leader he had ever been around, Fisher, who remains bitter that he didn’t get his USC boy Matt Leinart in that draft, successfully managed to character assassinate Young and blackball him from the league. Fisher won the PR battle, and in the process he managed to tear apart a Titans franchise he was head coach of for 16 years and then bolt and find another job in St. Louis.
Meanwhile, Young, who may have simply needed some guidance and help coming into the league instead of a coach going out of his way to put him down, fell off the map. That’s not to say he didn’t have his chances in Green Bay, where they run a very complex offense that nobody could’ve picked up easily, or in Philadelphia. But he was never going to get to a place anymore where his talents would be appreciated.
I watched him in that national championship game in 2006. You can’t measure intangibles. Call it college vs. pro all you want, but I also saw him lead plenty of game-winning drives in the NFL. Health was his only issue.
But after all Young has been through from an emotional standpoint, he’s now in a perfect spot. Not only is he making a good living in a place he can call home, a place he is loved, and a place where his talents will never be forgotten, but he is also in a place where he can help people who grew up like him avoid making the mistakes he made.
Everybody is a winner in this situation. And if you ever seriously watched Vince Young on the football field, you would know he is a winner.