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Burnt Orange League

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The Houston Chronicle published an article today that sounds it could have been written by this blog.

Thank you, John McClain. You can read the article here, but I've posted most of it below for everyone's reading pleasure.

Longhorns making their mark across NFL
UT products Vasher, Simms, Williams show Sunday best

The Eyes of Texas are upon the NFL as well as college football.

If burnt orange is your favorite color, it doesn't get much better than this.

First, quarterback Vince Young is going to help the Longhorns trample the Aggies and whatever road kill from the Big 12 North gets in the way of their stampede to the Rose Bowl.

Then, everything's going to come up Tyler Roses for Young because he's going to join Earl Campbell and Ricky Williams as the only Heisman Trophy winners in school history.

And, finally, Young is going to ignite the Longhorns to a BCS Championship Game victory over USC, putting the finishing touch on a perfect season and adding a national title to his résumé.

Oh, yeah, almost forgot: Young will cause Longhorns fans across the nation to Hook 'Em with delight when he announces that he'll return for his senior year.

And that's OK, Vince, because the NFL can wait. There already are enough Longhorns excelling on the larger stage to make an Aggie turn green with envy.

Sunday may have been the greatest day in league history for players from the University of Texas.

Unless you were marooned on Pluto, you couldn't have missed the longest return in NFL history -- Chicago cornerback Nathan Vasher's 108-yard return of a missed field goal against San Francisco.

If you watched the NFL highlights Sunday, not only did you see Vasher, a fourth-round pick in 2004, make history, but you also saw Tampa Bay quarterback Chris Simms throw three TD passes to help defeat Washington 36-35.

Simms, a third-round pick in 2003, lost his first two starts in place of the injured Brian Griese, but completed 15 of 29 for 279 yards without an interception against the Redskins.

Keep 'em coming

Then there was receiver Roy Williams (No. 1 in '04) catching seven passes for 117 yards and three TDs in the Detroit Lions' win over Arizona.

Like mosquitoes in the summer, Longhorns are everywhere in the NFL.

Nose tackle Casey Hampton (No. 1 in '01) anchors the defense for the 7-2 Steelers.

Defensive tackle Marcus Tubbs (No. 1, '04) is a run stuffer for the 7-2 Seahawks.

Defensive end Corey Redding (No. 3, '03) is one of the Lions' most underrated players. Redding doesn't get much pub because he plays next to the loquacious Shaun Rogers, a second-round pick in 2001.

Tight end Bo Scaife (No. 6, '05) has taken advantage of injuries to catch 22 passes for 162 yards for the Titans.

Outside linebacker Derrick Johnson, the Chiefs' first-round pick this year, is a leading candidate to be voted NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year.

Johnson, who plays against the Texans at Reliant Stadium on Sunday night, could be speaking for all the Longhorns in the NFL when he predicts which team will win the national championship.

"I don't know the score, but it's going to be Texas by at least one point," Johnson said. "We can beat USC. ... We've got a lot of weapons."

Naturally, Johnson prefers Young stay in school for two reasons: He wants the Longhorns to have a legitimate shot at another national championship next year. And he doesn't want to tackle Young any sooner than he has to.

"He's like Michael Vick, only bigger," Johnson said. "You'll get the best of both worlds because he can run and throw."

Life sure is good right now.
--TR--