|Texas to retire Young's No. 10|
|Written by Admin|
|Wednesday, 27 August 2008 12:15|
The quarterback who led the Longhorns to the 2005 national championship will have his No. 10 retired in a ceremony before Saturday night's season opener against Florida Atlantic.
Young's name and number will be permanently displayed on the facade of the new upper deck in the north end zone of Darrell K. Royal/Texas Memorial Stadium. He will also be presented with a framed burnt-orange jersey.
``He's one of the best, if not the best, to ever wear a Longhorns uniform,'' said Texas quarterback Colt McCoy, who was a redshirt freshman in 2005 when Young led the Longhorns to a 13-0 record capped by a 41-38 win over Southern California in the Rose Bowl.
Young's fourth-down dash to the end zone in the final minute scored the winning touchdown and capped one of the great individual performances in the history of college football. He left Texas after that junior season, was drafted third overall, and is now in his third year with the Tennessee Titans in the NFL.
``That's something my family can enjoy and be proud of forever,'' Young said. ``I was speechless when the told me about the jersey retirement earlier this summer. It's such a great honor to be remembered in such a special way.''
Young was 30-2 as a starter and won his final 20 games. McCoy, who has a 20-6 career record going into his junior season, is on pace to pass Young for career victories and could set several passing records before his career is over.
Asked if thought he could have his No. 12 retired, McCoy joked, ``There's a spot in the end zone waiting for me.''
Texas has retired five football numbers: Young, Earl Campbell (20), Ricky Williams (34), Tommy Nobis (60) and Bobby Layne (22). The school will have retirement ceremonies for Nobis' and Layne's numbers later this season, coach Mack Brown said.
MASTER: The chip Kansas linebacker Joe Mortensen jokes about carrying around on his shoulder is invisible to the naked eye. Not so with his philosophy of life.
That is tattooed right onto his arms, made big and brawny by dedicated weight lifting.
``Master of my destiny,'' proclaims the inside of Mortensen's bulging left forearm. His right forearm says, ``Captain of my Soul,'' in the same flourishing script
In other words, the All-Big 12 linebacker of the No. 14 Jayhawks figures he alone is responsible for what he does and who he is.
``'Master of My Destiny' means I control what goes on in my life,'' he said. ``If I'm a great man, if I'm a superstar, if I'm what I want to be, it's because I achieved it. If I'm a bum, if I'm something bad, then it's because I allowed it to happen. Every decision I make in my life is all mine.''
A more spiritual point is on the right forearm of the 250-pound senior. It has to do with who he is more than what he does.
``Being a good man, having good morals and being a great person. That's what it means,'' he said.
Mortensen had the twin tattoos applied to his arms ``a couple of years ago'' in his hometown of Oakland, Calif.
``Every time I get down or feel good, I look down on my arms and know this is the reason I'm here,'' he said. ``I have the power to change how I feel, whatever I'm doing in my life.''
That belief in being in charge of himself came in handy last winter when despair followed on the heels of the Jayhawks' 24-21 victory over Virginia Tech in the Orange Bowl, which capped a school-record 12-1 season.
Mortensen sacked the quarterback and blocked a field goal attempt. But shortly afterward, he was diagnosed with a slight tear in his ACL.
At first, depression set in.
``I'm a huge critic of myself. When I got hurt, I got down a little bit,'' he said. ``I was all worried about not being able to come back and play at the level I can.''
It was not the sort of attitude for a young man who believes himself to be the master of his destiny to take. So Mortensen went to work.
Now, he says, he's back to 100 percent and ready to join fellow seniors Mike Rivera and James Holt in a talented, experienced linebacker corps.
``That negative talk is the worst thing you can do,'' he said. ``I credit myself on being the most positive person in my life, talking myself up, knowing I can do whatever I want.''
``It was a lot of hard work getting back. But it was worth all the pain and stuff I went through in the offseason to get here.''
The Jayhawks open on Saturday at home against Florida International, a team they destroyed 55-3 last year.
MISSING: Missouri will likely be without a key defensive player when the No. 6 Tigers open the season Saturday against No. 20 Illinois in St. Louis.
Senior linebacker Van Alexander is making good progress as he recovers from a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee, an injury suffered in spring drills. Alexander will travel with the team to the Edward Jones Dome, but coaches doubt he'll be on the field.
``He's working really hard to get there and we'll see where he is on a day-to-day basis,'' defensive coordinator Matt Eberflus said Tuesday. ``You couldn't ask him to work harder and play harder and we are real proud of him and see where he is at game time.''
Alexander said he's right on schedule with the rehab of the knee.
``I have to talk to the staff but I think I can be back soon,'' he said.
He started eight of 14 games in 2007, registering 60 tackles and making his first career sack and fumble recovery along the way.
``It will be hard to wait but at the same time you know you are helping the team and that its the right thing to do,'' Alexander said.
Sophomore Luke Lambert will likely start in Alexander's place on Saturday.
AP Sports Writer Doug Tucker in Lawrence, Kan., contributed to this report.