Football Coach Mack Brown Says Vince Young May Have Been One Of The Best College Players Ever (VIDEO)

02/27/2015 09:02 am ET | Updated Feb 27, 2015

Former NFL player Vince Young had all the potential in the world. Growing up in a low-income community in Houston, Texas, he didn't have an easy start -- but football was his means of escape. He earned a scholarship to the University of Texas and became the team's star quarterback, leading the Longhorns to a national championship at the 2006 Rose Bowl.

With all eyes on him, Young was faced with a decision that would change the course of his career: finish out his senior year to continue his winning streak, or leave college early to join the NFL.

In need of advice, he turned to his head coach, the legendary Mack Brown. Brown had become a father-figure to Young, whose real father was behind bars during much of Young's childhood. Brown was the kind of mentor Young had always wanted growing up.

"The only thing that's important as a Texas quarterback is how many games you win," Brown says in the above video from the new OWN series "In Deep Shift with Jonas Elrod." "[Young] went 30 and 2 and won a national championship, and may be one of the best players to ever play college football -- period."

If he had come back for his senior year, Brown doesn't doubt that Young would have won another national championship.

"We're sitting in this room, and he says 'Coach, we need to talk,'" Brown recalls. "And I said, 'I don't think so, I think I got a pretty good idea of where you're headed.'"

But Young didn't want to make a rash decision. "He said, 'If I were your son, what would you do? What would you tell me to do, Coach?'"

Brown told Young to think carefully. "If I'm you, I look very closely at what's going to happen if I leave, and that means I'm going to be really rich and make a whole lot of money, and I'm going to be pushed into pro football immediately. But that's your choice."

The answer was simple: Young's family needed the money. "'I said, 'Then you’ve made the choice,'" Brown says. "'Let's go!'"

Cutting his college career short, Young entered the NFL draft and was picked up by the Tennessee Titans. His professional career didn't pan out, leading to a series of difficult years and Young's official retirement in 2014. With his football career over at such a young age, Young lost his identity as an athlete and soon faced financial ruin.

In the video below from HuffPost Live, Young discusses how he compared to other quarterbacks in the NFL. "I don't want to sound bad, but there were some very horrible quarterbacks out there this year," he says. "They say I'm bad, but, you know, I'm just really sure I should be back there playing football and supporting the game that I love."

On Sunday, Young will appear on the new OWN series "In Deep Shift with Jonas Elrod" to discuss his darkest moments and how he was able to rebuild and find new purpose in life. The episode airs Sunday, March 1 at noon ET on OWN.

Suggest a correction
Comments

CONVERSATIONS