Over breakfast this morning my Dad and I chatted about whether or not Vince would be wise to turn pro now. My Dad argued that his value can't possibly be any higher and, further, it would be tremendously difficult, psychologically speaking, to replicate the greatness of this season.
My initial reaction was to agree, but the more I think about it, the less I agree. Let's get this debate started...
1) While Vince's value may be at an all-time high, he has a lot to learn.
As good as Vince is, he's still learning to read defenses. He's gotten awfully good at it, but he can improve. He made several of the wrong reads late in the Rose Bowl, twice missing a streaking, and wide open, Limas Sweed. I'm not complaining, so save it. I'm just saying that the guy is still improving. Even Leinart, who had an equally awesome junior year, improved a lot this year. Lots of fans think Leinart has hurt his stock, but many pro scouts have noted his improved reading of defenses. It's going to help him in the long run.
2) If Vince's true interests are in a successful long-term pro career, another year in college to learn on the job will help him more than jumping right to the NFL.
Vince can take his game as high as he wants to next year if he stays to learn more and improve his reads. Why go into the infinitely more complex world of pro football where he'll have to learn on the job... on the bench?
3) If it's about money, the insurance is available to keep him secure.
And please, don't even think for a second that the fans of the University of Texas will let Vince Young and his family live like anything but kings. I'd bet there are 500 fans who would take out a second mortgage on their homes tomorrow morning just to take care of him. Anyway, the insurance policy he can take out will make him a rich, rich man if anything unfortunate fell upon him.
Add it up, and the decision comes down to whether or not he thinks he can jump right in as a starting quarterback in the league next year. He's certainly talented enough to step in and start learning on the job now, but I think he'll be better prepared if he takes a year in college where he can refine the art of passing without so much pressure.
With all this said, there's a very, very compelling case to be made for him leaving, and I won't blame him for a second if he does. But if I were his father, I'd urge him to consider staying one more year, to really work hard on becoming the best passer he can be. We keep saying he's better than Michael Vick, and he can be. But he needs to make sure that he doesn't wind up the beautiful running, lousy passing, hype machine that is Ron Mexico.
Whatever he decides, we'll be rooting for him.
In Vince We Trust.