AUSTIN, Texas -- At the moment, all Vince Young has to contribute is expertise.
“Comes out to practice, works out with team,” Texas coach Mack Brown said. “Been invaluable to David Ash in terms of leadership.”
Texas has a quarterback. Ash is a rising junior with plenty of promise. Texas' old quarterback needs a job. Bad. A source told CBSSports.com that VY has lost tens of millions of dollars since a series of bad investments and decisions. A once-promising NFL career is washed up on the rocks.
“He lost a ton of money,” Texas offensive coordinator Major Applewhite said.
That's what Tuesday is about. Young will throw at Texas' pro day -- his last was seven years ago -- hoping to latch on to some interested NFL employer.
“He's got some years left and he's hoping to get someone's attention,” Brown said.
That's what it's come to at this point. Young admitted last year that after once signing a six-year, $58 million contract, he is broke. In a weird twist, the modern NFL game might have circled back on him. As you may have noticed, it's a great time for a dual-threat quarterback to be launching a comeback.
“He's a guy that right now who could go make some coin as a second-, third-team guy,” Applewhite said. “All the sudden those feet start running again. Who knows?”
I know there is interest -- at least in social media. When Brown revealed earlier this month that Young was going to throw at pro day, I tweeted it out. Twitter blew up with the news.
“Vince is in a great place in his life,” Brown said. “He has started over.”
You want to feel sorry for Young, now 29. He remains arguably the greatest quarterback in Texas history. Those feet were once golden. His national championship-winning touchdown run against USC in the 2006 Rose Bowl gets more significant each day. It was perhaps the best end to the best game in BCS -- maybe all of college football -- history. The game was the last won for a national championship by a team outside the SEC.
Young was that good. In college. Despite being named to two Pro Bowls, his pro career has devolved into a well-compensated train wreck. The third overall pick of the 2006 draft by the Titans was released in 2010 after an infamous snit in the Tennessee locker room. Young subsequently hooked on with the Bills and Eagles with little fanfare and no on-field results.
He has attempted an image makeover, reportedly sending a letter to Titans former coach Jeff Fisher apologizing for his conduct. Now he is married, has a son (Jordan, named for You Know Who) and is on track for May graduation with a Youth and Community Studies degree.
"He stood up in front of a class and said, ‘Please, I'll sign any autographs, pose for any photos, but please let's be respectful. This is the professor's time,'" Brown said.
“It's good to see him, he's in a good place,” Applewhite said. “He has an air of confidence around him. I think most of Vince's life he has been humbled. I don't think he, all of a sudden, had a silver spoon yanked out of his mouth. He's found a way to overcome. He's a fighter. Now that people are starting to wise up to the quarterback run game. [Texas receivers coach] Darrell Wyatt and I were laughing. ‘Dude was about three or four years too early.'
“I know he's got that kind of competitive [streak]: ‘If I get out between those lines, it's on.' He's not necessarily humbled. It's given him some perspective on who to trust. I think he's grown up and matured a lot. That's where I see him getting a little more street smart.”
‘You can always say you blame me for not handling the situation in a correct manner,” Young said earlier this month, “just knowing how to handle certain things, which I did not know at the time.”