Eight years ago, the Texans passed on hometown favorite Vince Young to take Mario Williams. It turned out to be the right decision; Williams signed a $100 million deal with the Bills before the 2012 season, and Young, who led the University of Texas to the national title as a junior, hasn't taken a regular-season NFL snap since December 2011.
Originally drafted third overall by the Titans, Young was in training camp with the Bills in 2012 and the Packers in 2013, but at this stage of the proceedings, an NFL comeback faces long odds. That's the bad news. The good news is that, unlike some players unprepared for the jolting reality of life after football, Young has options.
“If football doesn't work out for me, (the University of Texas) has a great job for me,” said Young (via the Houston Chronicle), who added the position would entail serving as an ambassador for the school as well as speaking engagements.
“Just letting you know what (UT) has going on," Young continued, "especially helping kids get scholarships and recognizing things like that. Whatever it is, I just want to support the university.”
Last October, Young admitted that he was surprised he was still unsigned, despite a rash of injuries to several starting quarterbacks around the NFL.
"Me and my wife and all my peers and fans, we're all trying to figure this stuff out," he said at the time. "I don't have the slightest idea. It's like a huge question mark over my head every day I wake up in the morning to take care of my responsibilities and know I should be playing. To not have one of those calls, it's tough."
When asked Wednesday about his future NFL prospects, Young said, “You never know. All I can do is my part and stay ready.” He added that "there is some interest" in his services, though he didn't offer specifics.
One scenario that's off the table: the CFL.
"No disrespect to Canada, but it's never been an option for me.”
If the NFL truly is a pipe dream Young, who graduated from UT last May, says he's ready to close that chapter of his life.
“You don't want to finish your career like that,” Young said. “You want to finish your dreams you have for yourself. If it doesn't work out you still had a great shot at it, still was a Pro Bowler, playoff guy and still got a winning percentage and things like that. If it doesn't work out it's in God's hands. I just stay strong and continue to live my life and enjoy my life, especially taking care of my little ones.”