Like Young, our new quarterback was a member of the vaunted 2006 draft class of collegiate passers.
But back to Leinart.
Leinart, like Young, turned 30 this spring, which is just about the trillionth reminder that we all turn old and grey, so let’s not belabor the point, but we all remember when they were younger, when Leinart’s USC just crushed teams — but not Young’s Texas team in the 2006 Rose Bowl. When Young scored the touchdown to clinch the national title against Southern Cal and walked out of the endzone with the ball tucked in his left arm . . . well, there are poker faces, and there is Vince Young walking away with that ball as if he were strolling down the block to give it back to a kid who accidentally left it on his lawn.
That was Young’s final collegiate game, and it capped Leinart’s USC career, too. Leinart, as you surely remember, stayed for his senior season at Southern Cal, which may well have cost him a few draft spots and some money in the end. But we do this: it’s part of his legacy now, and it’s kind of neat no matter happened thereafter. I mean, I can’t imagine what it’s like to be the star quarterback at USC. Who would want to leave, really?
Today, Young is hoping to stick in Green Bay, and today, Leinart is without a team, but they will always have 2005, which is more than most of us get.