I believe this next piece is long overdue, as I have diligently been following a trend the last few years involving players drafted from the University of Texas. By no means does this piece reflect every single Longhorn player that was drafted in the NFL. Earl Campbell is a Hall of Fame player and arguably the greatest power Running Back to ever play was a Longhorn. Casey Hampton, two time Super Bowl champion and 5 time Pro Bowl Defensive Tackle for the Steelers was a Texas Longhorn. Despite these notable exceptions, it appears that Texas University has produced seemingly athletic and hard working football players, incapable of materializing their potential in the NFL; to be very candid, Texas University has made a reputation that last few years of creating players to whom are unprepared to deal with the expectations required to play in the NFL. Many of them end up troubled, financially destitute or in the case of Ricky Williams, someone with a plethora of off the field issue. So with noted, I have taken the liberty to list three reasons why NFL Teams should try avoiding Texas Longhorns players, or at the very least, avoid taking them in the first two rounds.
1. Limas Sweed – By all appearances, Limas Sweed had the physical attributes NFL teams have dreamed of for a receiver; 6’4 220 pounds, able to run the 40 in under 4.5 seconds. Limas had a successful Freshman campaign, was arguably Vince Young’s favorite target in his Sophomore year with Texas, he and Colt McCoy made an unbelievable tandem. Limas ended that season with 46 receptions for 801 yards and 12 touchdowns, many projected him to be a first-round pick in the NFL. Despite his injury in his Junior year, which affected his draft stock; the Steelers drafted him in the second round of the 2008 draft. By all accounts his first year was a successful one with the Steelers, he had a strong preseason, played a huge role in the Steelers AFC championship game against the Ravens, where he threw a block that knocked out of the Ravens players for the game; everything was in line for Limas to to be a top 3 receiver with the Steelers in the 2009 season, or at least it seemed that way after the preseason that year. In week 3 against the Bengals, he dropped what should have been a touchdown pass; after this moment, his career was never the same. He was soon demoted down to 4th and 5th receiver position. In December of that year he left the team for what would be the first of many “Illnesses/Injuries”; later on it was found that his departure was due to personal issues. The 2010 years Limas did not play a single down as he suffered an Achilles Tendon injury, which he later had surgery for; by the 2011 season he was again placed on the injured list and finally waived by the Steelers in mid September 2011. The last known update of Limas Sweed was that he was attempting a comeback with the New York Giants and the Cincinnati Bengals; both these tryouts were unsuccessful.
2. Colt McCoy – After Vince Young departed for the NFL, Colt McCoy was next in line to take over the mantle as starting quarterback for the Longhorns and by all accounts was as successful if not more so than Vince Young. By November 2006 he threw his 27th touchdown, thus breaking the University of Texas school record for most touchdowns ever thrown by a quarterback in a single season. However, it was his 2008 year with the Longhorns that gave him national attention. That year he threw for 3,859 yards and 34 touchdowns, Limas Sweed being the recipient. On top of breaking many of the school’s passing records that year, he was also formidable rushing Quarterback with 561 yards rushing and 11 rushing touchdowns. His performance that year was so good, he helped vault the Longhorns to #1 for a short period of time; in addition he was named AP Big 12 Offensive Player of the Year, won the Walter Camp Player of the Year Award, and was a runner-up for the Heisman Trophy. All in all he was very successful with Texas, yet was drafted in the 3rd round by the Cleveland Browns in 2010, many attribute this to having a less than stellar combine. From this point there is Colt McCoy and few moments of glory; in his rookie campaign he led the Cleveland Browns to an upset victory of the defending Super Bowl Champions at that time, the New Orleans Saints. A few weeks later he led the Browns to an upset victory over the New England Patriots; aside from these notable performances, much of Colt McCoy’s career has been plagued by less than stellar performances and injuries, to add to his bad luck, he suffered a concussion in 2011 after taking a hit from All-Pro linebacker James Harrison of the Pittsburgh Steelers. As of now, he is a backup Quarterback for 2012 draft pick Brandon Weeden.
3. Vince Young – Vince Young in my honest opinion, is one of the strongest reasons why NFL teams should avoid drafting a Texas Longhorn. Considering the fact he was one of the most anticipated players to come out of College in a long time. On the biggest stage, in one of the most watched Rose Bowl games in television history, Vince Young orchestrated one of the greatest individual performances ever seen on National Television. He single-handedly defeated the #1 ranked USC Trojans and accounted for 467 yards of offense; his performance without a doubt was legendary, so much so that former USC and Hall of Fame Safety Ronnie Lott proclaimed Vince Young as the greatest College Quarterback to ever play. But with Vince Young there were signs of trouble even before he wore an NFL uniform with the Tennessee Titans. Firstly the Wonderlic Test controversy during the 2006 combine. It was first reported that he scored a 6 out of 50 points; however his agent reported that it was he scored a 16 out of 50 and the score that was originally reported was erroneous. In retrospect, whether it was a 6 or 16, either one of these scores are less than impressive considering that the test was out of 50. At the beginning of his NFL career, things seemed to be on the upswing; then came the infamous Jacksonville Jaguars’ game in 2008 that resulted in speculation that he left his home in order to take his own life. Two years later came the Strip club incident that was caught on camera, and later resulted in receiving a Class C lawsuit. After being released by the Titans he played a forgettable season with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2011, and was cut in August 2012 by the Buffalo Bills. As of now, Vince Young not playing of any NFL teams and as of September 2012, it was reported that he was financially destitute after making over $26 Million dollars during his NFL career.