Coming out of college, it seemed like wide receiver Titus Young was going to be a solid contributor in the NFL. He bolstered blazing speed, terrific athleticism and outstanding production throughout his career at Boise State. There were a few signs of character issues, but the Detroit Lions couldn’t have been prepared for the headache they were drafting at No. 43 overall.
It all started when he sucker punched teammate Louis Delmas during an offseason workout. Then, he intentionally lined up in the wrong position during a game, causing his wide receivers coach to erupt after witnessing the self-inflicted sabotage. He was sent home from the team facility twice, which illustrated just how much of a thorn Young was becoming in the Lions’ side.
The Lions had finally had enough of his volatile presence, placing him on the IR in early December due to a knee injury. We all know that it was just a polite way of banishing Young and bringing a screeching halt to his 2012 campaign. Unfortunately for the Lions, the fun didn’t end there.
Despite words from head coach Jim Schwartz stating that a return to Detroit was a possibility, Young still had the nerve to go on a Twitter rampage. Making remarks such as “if I’m not going to get the football I don’t want to play anymore” and “if y’all going to cut me let me go. I’m tired of the threats,” Young gave the world yet another first-hand glimpse of his overwhelming immaturity.
The latest display of pure self-involvement and egotism came in the form of Young telling his former high school coach E.C. Robinson that he’s a better player than former Lions teammate Calvin Johnson.
“He did tell me he thought he was just as good Megatron,” Robinson told the Detroit Free Press. “I said, ‘Titus, come on.’ I said, ‘Come on, man. Who you talking to?’ I said, ‘Come on, you’re as good as that guy? This guy is the real deal.’ And he really believes this. And he was sincere about it. ‘Ah man, I’m better than him.’ I said, ‘No, you’re not. Be real, man. Come on.’ So I don’t know, I’m hoping for the best for him.”
Talk about delusional.
This disconnect from reality, added to the insubordination and lack of self-control, emphasizes how important it is for NFL teams to do their due diligence when evaluating a college prospect. Many teams were wary of Young’s character issues prior to the draft, which forced him to fall all the way to No. 43. Now, the Lions are kicking themselves for wasting a high-second-round pick and millions of dollars on a player who simply doesn’t have the mental toughness to handle life in the NFL.
As far as I’m concerned, Young should never play in the NFL again. As talented as he is, there’s no need for an ego that big on a football team. Even Terrell Owens is shaking his head at the way that Young has carried himself since entering the league only two years ago.
Thank you for reinforcing the importance of psychological testing during pre-draft evaluations.