Things haven't exactly gone Vince Young's way since leading the Texas Longhorns to the BCS title in 2006. The former third overall pick has seemingly had trouble follow him since then, but on Friday some good news finally came his way as he was awarded his college degree in Youth and Community Studies.
"This will rank No. 1 because it is what I came to school for," Young told CBSSports.com. I came here to get an education, and to win a national championship. And now, I get to put that smile on my mom's face."
Young's professional career got off to a promising start after he won the Offensive Rookie of the Year Award and was even named to the Pro Bowl. However, a series of bad financial decisions and off-the-field incidents eventually derailed Young's playings days as a member of the Tennessee Titans.
The Titans released him in 2010 before Young spent short stints with the likes of the Buffalo Bills and Philadelphia Eagles. He has been on the outside of the league looking in ever since.
Young, who is a co-owner of an upscale steakhouse, with a wife and a 2-year-old son, took a full course load at UT to earn his degree while keeping himself in shape in case an NFL team called, as well. He said he was about 30 credit hours short of his degree when he left Texas early for the NFL Draft in '06.
"I've been doing this 31 years and guys (who leave college without their degrees) always say they'll come back, but he had more of a plan," said Brian Davis, UT's associate athletics director for Academic Services. "He said, 'My mom and I talked. This is important to me. This is important to her. I need to finish this part of my life sooner than later if we can.' And he did finish his semester like he was coming back. You have guys that (when they're done playing college football) who just kind of mail it in. Guys that finish strong when they don't have to is an indication that they are very likely to return.
"I couldn't be more proud of him."
Young earned his degree one day before his 30th birthday.
"It's definitely been a learning experience," Young said. "I've learned, 'Don't let things distract you or define who you are -- even if you do make a mistake.' I'm one of those guys who kept pushing and pushing and pushing. Even if I'm not playing football, I wasn't going to let those mistakes that I did make, define me as a person. I'm 30 now with a wife and family. I'm in a whole other stage in my life now."
Via CBS Sports