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The Star
Tim Layden
January 07, 2006
The most dynamic quarterback in college football, Vince Young carried Texas to a national title even as he struggled to come to terms with his estranged father
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January 07, 2006

The Star

The most dynamic quarterback in college football, Vince Young carried Texas to a national title even as he struggled to come to terms with his estranged father

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"Can you stay?" shouted 13-year-old Sara Garc´┐Ża.

"Why do you want me to?" asked Vince.

"Because you're funny," she said.

Kattie Edmonson, project coordinator for the program, says, "Vince was the first one here every morning and the last one to leave. He never raised his voice, but he kept their attention. He told them all, 'Guys, right here in this school is where it all starts.'"

Says Vince, "I was blessed with a lot of talent. I'm also trying to be a strong, humble man."

Sitting in the Texas football building, 160 miles from his father's prison, Vince says that every day he thinks about the void in his life. "I've been hurt so much by not having my father around," he says. "I've heard teammates talk about all the things they learned from their fathers. I just sit around sometimes thinking, Man, I wish I had that."

Vince's eyes water. "God says we have to forgive. I know that," he says. "We'll have to sit down one of these days, my father and me. But I'm not there yet."

FROM THE first day Vince Young set foot on campus, there was little doubt he would dazzle teammates and opponents alike with his running skills. Even as he has undergone the customary bulking up through weightlifting, from 200 skinny pounds to a hard 230, he has remained quick and slippery. "Quick and fast, but also very powerful," says Kansas coach Mark Mangino. "It's a pretty tough combination when you're trying to tackle him."

Says Simms, "From Day One, if the pocket was collapsing, he could tuck the ball away and use his athletic ability to do pretty much whatever he wanted. Not many people can do that."

Young won the starting job in the seventh game of his redshirt freshman season, and Texas has since gone 30-2. The coaching staff has modified the pro-style offense to suit Young's talents, adding a quarterback draw, the zone read (in which Young puts the ball in the tailback's belly, reads the outside defender and either gives the ball up or runs with it himself) and several bootlegs. On many plays he's a running back who happens to take the snap.

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