Twelve years removed from the greatest sports moment of his life, Vince Young still carries himself like Superman, ready to take on the world and the USC Trojans.
Asked Tuesday why the Longhorns have fallen off in recent years, Young replied with a smile, “Be careful, man. I’ll dive on you, bro, if you talk about my university like that.”
Young and several others members from Texas’ 2005 national championship team met with reporters Tuesday on the ninth floor of Bellmont Hall. It was a true turn-back-the-clock moment.
Young, now 34, had the strongest message for the current Longhorns (1-1) who are heading into this week’s game against fourth-ranked USC (2-0): Only those inside the locker room now can change the program’s fortunes.
“When I go talk to the guys, I’m like, ‘Guys, this is you, man. You guys are playing football. You guys are playing this game. You have to change this,’” Young said. “It’s not about the coaching staff. It’s not about none of that. Go out there and show the world we’re Texas football.
“You gotta go earn that type of stuff. You can’t just come to Texas because it’s Texas and think that you’re just going to win ballgames. Everybody is going to give you their best when they play Texas. Once they get that in their mindset that you’re not just playing for the name on the back but you’re playing for the name on the front, I feel like we’ll get back to where we need to be at.”
Several of the former players joked about the number of times they’ve seen the 2006 Texas-USC replay on Longhorn Network. “Until something tops it, they’re going to keep playing it,” said Kasey Studdard, an offensive lineman that season.
Former defensive end Tim Crowder said the current Longhorns can’t worry about the three previous losing seasons. That’s in the past.
“We’ve put the new sod down. It’s time to put the water on the grass and let it grow,” Crowder said. “That’s basically where they’re at right now. It’s going to take ups and downs, and you’ve got to understand that, but they’ve just got to stay the course.
“Don’t start pointing fingers and saying stuff behind each other’s backs,” he added. “Just stay the course and let everything work itself out. Just go one practice, one day at a time and the games will be a lot easier.”
Contact Brian Davis at 512-445-3957. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.