Based on his Rose Bowl performance, Texas quarterback Vince Young will be feeling the pressure to leave UT-Austin and head to the National Football League.
Some advice from an armchair observer (not quarterback, mind you)? Stay put for one more year, young man. You aren’t quite ready for that leap.
Young was past spectacular in his team’s 41-38 national championship victory over Southern Cal; he was everything that was advertised - elusive, quick, accurate and deceptive. If anyone was honest to themselves, they knew Young was going to win the game with two minutes remaining after USC failed on a fourth down and 2 play at the 50. You had to know deep inside you what was coming and so did USC coach Peter Carrell. It was the reason for the gamble, instead of punting, in the first place. He who had the ball last was going to win.
And it was just Texas’ turn to win. It looked like destiny. USC played more than well enough to win. The Trojans were also brilliant and the second half duel between Matt Leinart and Young was a thing of beauty.
Many ill-thinking fans will want to know why Young didn’t win the Heisman Trophy as college football best player. Because USC’s Reggie Bush deserved it more for the entire season. There were some Saturdays when Young took a small snooze (A&M, Oklahoma State) and Bush played unbelievably as the season ended, making the strongest impression.
But as a practical matter, Young is not an NFL quarterback … yet. He lacks one VERY important component to his game – he must learn to play under center. The Longhorn offense has his taking shotgun snaps 100 percent of the time. NFL offenses aren’t constructed for that and unless some team is willing to draft Young and then completely restructure their game to his talents, it isn’t going to happen.
Young must learn to play the position closer to the line of scrimmage and hence develop a drop back style to be honed to his abilities. That is what he will spend his senior year in Austin doing to best prepared himself for his future … and winning the Heisman along the way (it won’t even be close in 2006).
Not only should Young stay in school, he needs to stay in college for one more year to learn new things. Let’s see if that happens.