Texas Honors Another Favorite Son

By Yolande Lezine
Updated: September 7, 2008

AUSTIN, Tx. – Last weekend in their season opener, the University of Texas Longhorns retired Vince Young’s No. 10 jersey in a pre-game ceremony in front of a capacity crowd of 98,053 at Darrell K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium.

The former Madison High School star and Tennessee Titans quarterback received a standing ovation upon entering the field from the tunnel along with his mother, Felicia Young, grandmothers Bonnie King and Betty Young, sisters Lakesha Winters (Charles), Vintrisa Young, cousins Janice Doucette, Justin Doucette, Artevious Wynne, uncle Keith Young and agent Major Adams.

Young becomes the fifth Longhorns football player to have his jersey retired. A video board played a DVD of Vince’s career highlights and the crowd cheered when they showed the play that won the National Championship.

“I don’t think anybody’s ever deserved to have a jersey retired more than Vince Young with what he accomplished at this school,” Texas head coach Mack Brown stated. “He really put us back on the modern map, and there were some people that thought we’d never win a national championship.”

“Now because of him and the guys he played with, we have a chance to win another one.”

The Longhorn men’s athletic department announced in mid-July that it would retire the numbers of three former Texas football stars. Previously, only two Texas players had received that honor: Heisman Trophy winners Earl Campbell and Ricky Williams. Later this season, UT will honor linebacker Tommy Nobis and quarterback Bobby Layne.

Young, who only has two classes left to take will earn his degree in the Spring of 2009. The 25-year old quarterback left the University of Texas in 2006 with one year of college eligibility remaining.

He had a 30-2 record as a starter and he still is the school’s career leader in total offense with 9,167 yards. He will be most remembered for his performance in the Rose Bowl , the site of the national championship, in which he gained 467 yards running and passing while leading the Longhorns back from a 12-point fourth-quarter deficit.

“This is a dream come true,” Young said. “The University of Texas helped me get to the point where I am today.

Young and the entire 2006 National Championship team played a key role in the $159 million refurbishment of Royal-Memorial Stadium. He was the leader and he took his role seriously, even it that meant cracking a joke or forting in the middle of the huddle.

His legacy will forever be remembered as his name has been entrenched above the new section of seats that have been added. “Seeing Vince’s jersey retired was truly awesome,” Felicia Young said.

“When we emerged with him from the tunnel, we received a standing ovation for about 10-15 minutes. It reminded us about how far God has brought us. Everyone was crying. It was so overwhelming!”

With the jersey retirement ceremony out of the way, Young can now focus all of his attention on his third NFL season. And despite having a bad preseason statistically, going back to Austin to reflect back on everything that he’s done might be just the medicine needed to get him over the hump!