Not Drafting Young Is a Mistake The Houston Texans Cannot Afford to Make

By Joe Booker
Updated: January 9, 2006

TEXAS—Vincent Young made it official Sunday. He has decided to make himself available for the NFL draft. The Houston Texans have made a lot of draft mistakes, but not drafting Vincent Young with their top pick is not a mistake they can afford to make. Vincent made the right decision. It would have been difficult to duplicate what he did last season. Matt Leinart lost millions of dollars by waiting.

I would like to see if the Texans could put together a package together that includes David Carr, Jonathan Wells and their second round pick with the Saints for their top pick. If they could pull this off they could take Reggie Bush with their second pick. The Texans would have a dream offense with Young, Bush, Domanick Davis and wide receiver Andre Johnson. The Saints have an outstanding running back in Deuce McAlister and may not ask for Domanick Davis. Carr has experience and is mobile and Matt Leinart is not. It will take Leinart time to make an immediate impact on the Saints.

The Saints won’t make that deal with the Texans. The Saints could market Matt Leinart or Reggie Bush to their fans better than they could David Carr. The Texans could go to the Jets. The Jets have the fourth pick and need a quarterback. The Texans could put together a package with the Jets that include Carr, Wells and one of their third picks. The Texans could take their pick of who ever would be available among –Ohio State linebacker, A.J. Hawk, Virginia offensive tackler D’Brickahaw Ferguson, NC State defensive end Mario Williams, Boston College defensive end Mathias Kiwaneka or Virginia Tech cornerback Jimmy Williams—with the fourth pick.

If the Texans take Vincent with their top pick, Vincent would have Denver offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak as his coach. When Kubiak was quarterback coach with the 49ers, one of his students was Steve Young. Vincent would also have Texans’ veteran quarterback Tony Banks as a mentor if Carr is traded.

I have seen a lot of good college quarterbacks, but last but his performance in the Rose Bowl, convinced me he is the best I have seen since I saw the late Wiley College quarterback Floyd Iglehart. Iglehart was the best I had seen. I never thought I would see anyone close his talent until I saw Vincent. . He (Iglehart) single-handed led little old Wiley College to a National Championship in 1957. Iglehart was the best all around athlete I had ever seen. He could throw the ball 70 yards in the air running to his left or right. Vincent is that good. Iglehart was a better passer.

Iglehart single-handed beat a more talented Prairie View team at Prairie View, and beat Florida A&M for the National title on Florida A&M’s home tuff. No team had ever beaten a Jake Gaither coached Florida team at Florida. Prairie View had not lost a home game in over 50-years. Iglehart was the last triple-threat quarterbacks I have seen.

He could run, throw and punt. Prior to be being voted as an All-American quarterback, he was an All-American wide receiver. The late Wiley coach Fred “Pop” Long saw the leadership that Iglehart had and moved him to quarterback. Like Young, Iglehart was 6-5 and weighed around 220.

Hensley Sapenter played college football against Iglehart and talked about Vincent’s comparison with Iglehart. “Vincent Young is one of the most talented quarterbacks I have seen in over 40 years and deserves all the attention he gets,” said Sapenter. “Iglehart was a better all-around athlete. Iglehart was an outstanding basketball and baseball player. He could take you on the golf course and beat your socks off. He also was a good-looking guy and all the ladies were crazy about him. He came along during the time when black quarterbacks were not given a chance to play quarterback in the NFL or at white colleges. We didn’t have all the media exposure during that time. I just wish today’s media people had seen him play. Here is a guy (Iglehart) who made All-American one year as a wide receiver and the next year was an All-American quarterback.

Tommy Williams, a retired police detective in Kansas City, Missouri, who played college football with former Kansas City Chiefs’ All-Pro Wide Receiver Otis Taylor, was an outstanding high school quarterback, but was moved to defensive back in college, where he never gave up a touchdown in his two years as a starter, played against Iglehart. He sees the similarities between Young and Iglehart.

“I never saw a quarterback that I could compare with Iglehart until I saw Vincent Young in the Rose Bowl said Williams who has lived in Kansas City, Missouri, for the past forty years. “Young can be a successful quarterback in the NFL, “said Williams. Iglehart may have been better all around. Those who did not see Iglehart missed seeing one of the greatest to ever play the game. I put Young in that class.”

Despite his size (6-5, 215), sprinter speed and a strong arm with accuracy, the LA Rams drafted him as a defensive back. An injury ended his career. Iglehart came along before his time.

Carl Jackson an assistant coach at the University of Iowa was an outstanding college quarterback and was an assistant coach for the San Francisco 49ers when they won a Super Bowl, is also high on Vincent.

“I saw Vincent when he was in high school and I told Ezell (Madison coach Ray Seals) that he was something special,” said Jackson. “He was a better passer in high school than he is now,” said Jackson. He has all the tools to be an outstanding quarterback in the NFL. He will get with someone in the NFL who can help him with his passing. He reminds me of Randall Cunningham (who played for the Eagles). I think he will be a great NFL quarterback.”

Jackson was on the 49ers staff with Denver offensive coordinator Gary Kubiak and feels that Kubiak will be a good NFL head coach. “He (Kubiak) was quarterback coach and did a good job with Steve Young,” said Jackson.

I saw him play when he was a sophomore at Madison. I knew at that time he was something special. After I saw the way he ran the option, I called Coach Ezell Seals at Madison and told him he was the best high school option quarterback I had ever seen. As a former quarterback and coach I felt I knew special talent when I saw it. I coached Bill Harper ( now head coach at Nacogdoches High School) and Harper threw for over 2,000 yards and 40 touchdowns his senior year. I saw it in Vincent when he was a green sophomore in high school.

I don’t know what Texas did to his passing game. He was not throwing side-armed in high school and had better passing mechanics. Vincent, like former Longhorn quarterback Chris Simms, has to wait until he gets to the NFL before he develops his complete game as a quarterback.

Vincent is the real deal and he is already better than over half of the quarterbacks playing in the NFL. He is better college quarterback than Michael Vick, Roger Staubach, Dan Marino and all the other great college quarterbacks. He has the talent to be better than they were in the NFL.

It is good the NCAA has a rule against college athletes being paid, because if they didn’t have such a rule, Vincent would be highest paid person in the athletic department at Texas.