LONGHORN LOVE

UT Austin legend awarded spot in College Football Hall of Fame

Vince Young is the 23rd Longhorn to receive the honor. Photo courtesy of the University of Texas at Austin

This article originally appeared on CultureMap and was written by Katie Friel.

Long before he appeared on ESPN in bespoke suits or was a steakhouse impresario, Vince Young was just a University of Texas quarterback who happened to lead the Longhorns to their first National Championship in 35 years.

On January 7, the National Football Foundation announced that Young will be forever enshrined in the College Football Hall of Fame as part of the class of 2019. Young will be the 23rd Longhorn to receive the honor, a roster that includes his coach, Mack Brown; Earl Campbell; Ricky Williams; and Darrell Royal.

Young led the Longhorns to victory in 2005, and during his college career he was named an All-American, was short listed for the Heisman Trophy, and was the unanimous pick for Big 12 Player of the Year in 2005. He maintains UT's record for winningest quarterback with a 30-2 record as a starter; Young ranks sixth for wins among the NCAA.

"It goes without saying that Vince was an unbelievable football player who greatly impacted college football and the University of Texas," Brown said in a statement via UT announcing the news. "He was a once in a generation talent.

In the same statement, Young used the moment as a point of reflection, calling his induction "life changing."

Said Young: "When I think about it, the honor is meaningful in so many ways and this award is full of reminders. It's a reminder that I came from a broken home and an under-resourced community where the odds are against us all. It's a reminder that I was given the chance to play for the University of Texas through the support of my family, hard work, and dedication. It's a reminder of the work my teammates and I put in, especially when no one was watching. It's a reminder of all the adversity we have gone through and overcome. And last, but not least, it's a reminder of all the awards, challenges, and championships my brothers and mentors have won together. None of us have accomplished anything alone, and I'm thankful for everyone in my life."

After college, Young went on...

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Composite photo by Jack Brame

As things continue to relax as far as the COVID-19 pandemic is concerned, a return to a semblance of normalcy seems imminent. The NBA has some parameters in place for a potential return. Training camps are set to open late this month and the season is supposed to open July 31. Whether that's the rumored Disney-centered one-stop shop or another form, they have a plan in place to return. There's also no argument between the league and players going back and forth about money either (MLB could learn a lesson here).

So when it comes to the potential return, how does that fare for the local team? The Rockets were 40-24 and tied for the fifth seed in the West when the season was shut down. Since they're getting ready to return potentially, we need to be looking at what chances they may have in making a run in the playoffs towards an NBA title.



Harden's new physique

According to his new trainer, James Harden has done more cardio workouts and lost some weight. Specifically, he's done more football player workouts as opposed to basketball player workouts. There was a pic of Harden floating around showing an obvious loss of weight. His new-found cardio and weight loss could mean more late-game and late-season success for Harden and the Rockets.

Westbrook's edge

Russell Westbrook has a competitive fire that can't be put out. It's like one of those never-ending burning torches you see at monuments. He wants nothing more than to prove he's a winner on a high level. Given that he's reunited with a long time friend in Harden, his competitive nature could help fill the gap where Harden may lack. These two have proven they can coexist very well this season. Now could be their time to take surge.

Small-ball

When the Rockets traded Clint Capela, they fully committed to small-ball. There were times they didn't have a guy in the lineup over 6'5. The tallest guy that gets regular time is roughly 6'8. The smaller, quicker lineup is an advantage on the offensive end, but can be a huge liability on the defensive end. Given the stoppage and restart of the season, it could help them. Suppose other teams are sluggish and can't get their chemistry straight. Houston's advantage is that they go through one or two guys and eat off their shooting. Shooting can be worked on during times like these, whereas other aspects of your game can't.


I'm not saying the Rockets have a built-in advantage, but they have as good a shot as they've ever had in the past. The field is wide open to any team that's in the playoff hunt. No team will have a built-in advantage over others. With the Rockets' unique brand of ball, they may be able to make a run at a title this season. Couple that with Harden's weight loss and Westbrook's competitive nature, it could be very interesting. Whenever the NBA comes back this season, which I believe they will, I think this team has a legit shot at winning it all.

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