Vince Young, University of Texas quarterback, who recently led Texas to its first national championship in 36 years, announced Sunday (Jan. 8) that he would make himself eligible for the NFL Draft.
”I thank God for the opportunity to be in this position,” Young said at a news conference. “Hard work has paid off a whole lot.”
”I think Vince Young is an outstanding athlete. From his performance at the Rose Bowl, he is definitely ready for the NFL," said Brandon Wallace, a junior majoring in legal communications at Howard University. "I think it is a great opportunity for him and his family.”
Leading the Longhorns to a 41-38 Rose Bowl win over No. 1 USC on Wednesday (Jan 4), the versatile quarterback accounted for 467 yards against USC and ran 8 yards for the winning touchdown with 19 seconds left.
Young leaves Texas with 44 touchdown passes and 28 interceptions, 6,040 passing yards and 3,127 rushing yards, according to ESPN.com. Young ends his career with a 30-2 record as a starter-the best in school history according to AP reports. If he went back to school for his senior year, he would have been a favorite to win the Heisman Trophy.
His performance at the Rose Bowl has started a debate about whether he should be the No. 1 pick in April’s draft.
Young’s coach, Mack Brown, said that he fully supports Young’s decision.
”We love Vince and appreciate all the great things he’s done for the University of Texas on and off the field,” Brown said in a statement. “We’ll miss him, but want him to do well in the NFL as he did in college.”
Other HBCU students also support Young’s decision.
”I think he’s ready because he led his team to a championship in the Rose Bowl. He’s proven to the world that he knows how to lead his team and that he has what it takes to win,” said Marcus Brown, a senior majoring in business administration at Hampton University.
”I think he’s an extremely explosive player who pretty much single handedly pulled [off] one of the greatest college football games and upsets of all time,” said Justin Faust, a junior majoring in broadcast journalism at Howard.
”Yes, I think he’s ready because he’s a quarterback and they are supposed to be the leader of the team. If you can’t get the respect from your coaches and your teammates in college then you can’t get it in the NFL,” said Antonio Moore, a sophomore majoring in psychology at Howard.
Greg Davis, Longhorns offensive coordinator, said that he believes Young is not yet ready for full freedom at the line of scrimmage. Young is still leaving, although he admits that he has a lot to learn.
"We just know that a lot of teams were saying some good things," Young said at a press conference in Austin. " … My mom said it was my decision, and that was my decision. I felt like I was ready to go. I learned a lot of things in college, and I was ready to move on to the next level."