Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

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October 4, 2022

Vince Young distinguished speaker at Campus Events and Entertainment’s Black History Month Event

Lorianne Willett
Vince Young speaks to students in the WCP on Tuesday.

Over 100 students filed into the William C. Powers Auditorium to hear from the man who led the Longhorns to their first Rose Bowl victory 19 years ago, and now sits in the College Football Hall of Fame. 

On Tuesday, Campus Events and Entertainment’s Distinguished Speakers and Culture Shock Committees hosted a Black History Month event with former NFL player and UT alumnus Vince Young. Young spoke about his experiences as a football player, a former student, a philanthropist and what keeps him going. 

“All these other people wanted me to play another position, and I fought every day,” Young said. “I wasn’t going to change my position because the world was telling me ‘no’. The bigger picture was opening up opportunities for that next young man that wants to play that position, and UT and Coach Brown gave me the opportunity.” 

Young played for the University from 2002 to 2005. During this time on the football field, he broke several records and led the team to numerous victories. While on campus, Young worked towards his degree. To stay focused, he said he focused on his dreams of graduating and being a quarterback in the pro league.

“Don’t get distracted from the ultimate goal,” Young said. “You worked your butt off to get here, and to say that you graduated from the University of Texas is going to help you for the rest of your life. Our alumni are huge, and they’re everywhere. So make sure to finish and keep in contact with your professors and alumni.”

Myrakle Jenkins, health and society senior, said she already knew of Young after growing up as a college football fan, and Young’s emphasis on motivation, the necessary discipline when attending a prominent university and the community here stood out to her the most. 

“It’s an honor to be here,” Jenkins said. “(We) work so hard, so it’s always good to see on the flip side that we have an alumnus that will come and speak to us. I’m inspired to do the same one day.”

During the talk, Young shared advice on how he moves on from failure, which includes learning from mistakes, figuring out the issue and reaching out. 

“Don’t be afraid to ask for help,” Young said. “I still ask for help because you never know if somebody went through what you went through. They might have some great points to help you get through whatever you might be going through.”

Prerna Agarwal, marketing senior and chair for the Distinguished Speakers committee, said she appreciated Young’s openness about sharing some of the failures and downfalls he experienced, which many speakers in the past didn’t talk about. 

“I think the organic message that he sent to students is that you will have moments where you are down, but you (have) got to pick yourself back up,” Agarwal said. 

According to Young, it still feels unbelievable to go to different places and get recognized worldwide, which empowers him to help the community.

“I want to continue to be a role model and a brother, whatever it may be, to the next young lady or young man out there trying to reach the same goals I’ve accomplished as a 40-year-old man,” Young said.

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About the Contributor
Lorianne Willett, Photo Editor
Lorianne is a Journalism and Global Sustainability junior from San Antonio, Texas. Currently, she is the Photo Editor. In her free time, she enjoys reading and playing tennis.