There is no telling how Texas' fortunes might have been different had star quarterback Vince Young stayed in college for his senior season, but this we know: The three-loss year that followed the Longhorns' 2005 national championship season could have been a lot better had he done so.
"It was very close. The Texans had the No. 1 pick, that was the place I wanted to play at," Young said. "I wish they would've told me that they weren't picking me because I would've stayed in for my senior year. But it didn't happen like that."
As it turned out, the Texans went with defensive end Mario Williams with the top pick in '06, and the New Orleans Saintspassed on Young in favor of Reggie Bush with the No. 2 pick. The Tennessee Titans ended Young's wait with the No. 3 overall pick, but he later fell out of favor with then-coach Jeff Fisher and was jettisoned after five unremarkable seasons. Young, now retired, recently accepted a position at UT as a development officer with its Division of Diversity and Community Engagement (DDCE).
Don't cry any tears, though, Texas fans. After all, it's not as if Young could have had any sort of notion about his draft fate in time to stay in school. The mid-January deadline for underclassmen to declare draft eligibility, which is more than three months before the draft, is long before NFL clubs make up their minds about a first-round draft choice.
Still, it's surprising that Young, or any top draft pick for that matter, would want to play for a particular franchise so badly that it would make the difference in an early entry decision. Clearly enough, Young was convinced at the time that he would be chosen No. 1 overall.