Should he stay or should he head to the NFL? This is obviously a tough decision and one that Vince Young has already said he will take his time with. VY stated after the game and on Leno that he would sit down with his family, his coaches, and his pastor before making up his mind. I have no connection to Vince other than as a fan. I have never met him or spoken to him. He doesn't even know my name. But if I was his advisor, I would advise him to hold a press conference, thank his coaches, teammates, and fans, kiss his mom, pack up his Superman cape, and head to the NFL. This may upset members of BON, but Vince Young should definitely head to the pros.
First off, let's dismiss some of the reasons to stay on the 40 Acres.
Vince needs to complete his degree. No, he really doesn't. Does anyone think VY is going to do anything but play football for the rest of his life? Anyone think VY will be forced to type up his resume anytime soon with a note that he hasn't yet completed college? Some of us are writers, some of us are doctors, some of us are policemen, VY is a football player. And if things don't work out in the NFL, he will have ample time to come back to Texas to complete his last academic year.
Vince can reach immortality by winning a second national title. Let's not kid ourselves into thinking the next one will be cake. This one was incredibly difficult. It was 35 years since the last title for the Horns and a lifetime of building and working for Mack Brown before he got his first. As dominant as this year's team was, we could have easily lost at Ohio State or in the Rose Bowl or been devastated by injuries to key players (see VY). If Penn State had beaten Michigan, we may not have even been given a shot at the national title.
Vince should come back and win the Heisman. The Heisman trophy is an individual award. Vince already has a better trophy. There is not a single Heisman trophy winner who wouldn't rather have won a national title instead. There is also no guarantee that VY would win the Heisman next year. The media could easily fall in love with Brady Quinn or LenDale White or Adrian Peterson just as they did with Reggie Bush this season.
Vince Young should turn pro.
There is nothing more for him to accomplish in college. VY is 30-2 as a starter. He has taken UT back to national prominence after over three decades without a national title. He was the most dominant player on the most dominant team. He was literally a man among boys in college this season. He became the first player in NCAA history to throw for over 3,000 yards and run for over 1,000. As seen by millions at the Rose Bowl, VY is unstoppable at the college level. His stock cannot get any higher. It is time to move on to a tougher stage.
The top of the NFL draft. The Houston Texans have the first pick. Yeah, I know they have David Carr and I know they have holes at nearly every other position. But after January 4th, there is a decent shot the Texans would draft VY. As we all know Vince is from Houston. His mom, sister, and grandmother all still live there. Why not continue your professional career in your hometown? Let's say the Texans draft Bush instead. The New Orleans Saints are now on the clock. The Saints are the second closest NFL franchise to Vince's hometown and the Saints desperately need a QB. Oh, but what if the Saints pass on VY and draft a more NFL style passer in Matt Leinart? Wait, next up are the Tennessee Titans. Their current QB is none other than Steve McNair who has been a mentor and father figure to Vince for the last few years. McNair is past his prime and the Titans could not afford to skip drafting Young. If Vince were to stay another year in college, he would still be a top pick but there in no guarantee which teams would be at the top of the NFL draft board. Next year, it could easily be Green Bay or San Francisco or Buffalo. If Vince wants to play close to home, he declares now.
NFL quarterbacks learn to be great in the NFL. There is nothing more Greg Davis can do to prepare VY for the pros. I think Vince is Superman but there are still aspects of his game that must improve to be successful in the NFL. Young can still improve his arm strength and ability to throw the ten yard out. Young can improve his throwing motion and he can improve his ability to read defenses pre-snap. College defenses are nowhere near as complicated as in the NFL. That is why most college stars sit out a year or two before even setting foot on the field. Even Peyton Manning, the best QB in the NFL, had 28 interceptions his rookie year. To be great in the pros, Vince must be a pro. He will only delay his development by one year if he sticks around for his senior year.
Don't get me wrong, I would love to see VY play another year at Texas. He is a joy to watch. He is the best college athlete I have ever seen. I would be elated to see Vince toy with defenses for another 13 games. It would be awesome to see another perfect season and another BCS national title. Vince, already a god by most standards, would become Zeus with another comparable season. All that said, Vince needs to declare for the NFL. Matt Leinart stuck around one year too many. He would have been the first pick last season. Instead, he came back to win another national title and another Heisman. He achieved neither and his draft position fell slightly.
Vince has earned our admiration, our love, and our respect. It is time to move on. You have already made us all so proud. This one is for you and your family. There is not a single Longhorn fan who should blame you.