Texas QB Vince Young Headed to NFL Draft
By JIM VERTUNO (AP Sports Writer)
From Associated Press
January 08, 2006 5:39 PM EST
AUSTIN, Texas - Vince Young is headed to the NFL. The quarterback who led Texas to its first national championship in 36 years announced Sunday 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."
Young, who led the Longhorns to a 41-38 Rose Bowl win over top-ranked Southern California on Wednesday, could have returned to Texas for his senior season and would have been a favorite to win the Heisman Trophy.
The versatile quarterback accounted for 467 yards against USC - 200 running and 267 passing - and ran 8 yards for the winning touchdown with 19 seconds left.
Young thanked many people, including his family and coach Mack Brown, who could not attend Sunday's news conference. He specifically thanked Brown for "helping me become a better man."
In a statement, Brown said he met with Young and his family Sunday morning and 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. "We'll miss him, but want him to do as well in the NFL as he did in college."
In his eight seasons at Texas, Brown never before has had a player leave early for the NFL.
Young ends his career at Texas with a 30-2 record - the best in school history.
His stellar performance in the Rose Bowl increased speculation that he would leave school early and also started a debate about whether he would be the No. 1 pick in April's draft.
Young is Texas' all-time leader in total offense (9,167 yards), career touchdowns (81) and career rushing touchdowns by a quarterback (37).
This season, Young became the only player in NCAA history to pass for 3,000 yards (3,036) and rush for 1,000 (1,050) in one season. His 4,086 total yards set a school single-season record.
Young won the Davey O'Brien Award for the nation's best quarterback and the Maxwell Award for the top college football player, but came in second behind USC running back Reggie Bush in the Heisman voting.
Though he's leaving a year early, Young emphasized his bond with Texas, saying, "I'll forever be a Longhorn."