What is it about some of these athletes that just don’t get it. You have an opportunity to make some good money in a short period of time and to make a positive influence to someone who needs someone to look up to; these opportunities come few and far between and professional athletes have to understand that what they do is a privilege and a blessing and can be easily taken away if they don’t handle it right. Case in point, wide receiver Titus Young.
Young is a gifted wide receiver who was able to play at Boise State and made a mark there, both good and bad. He was piling up the numbers on the field that would get him noticed, but he was having off field issues that was brought in the forefront when people noticed him. He was suspended for most of his sophomore season after fighting with a teammate. This led many NFL teams to pass on him in the 2011 draft; the Detroit Lions drafted Young in the second round in 2010.
He made a positive influence on the field as a third option at wide receiver by accumulating 48 receptions and six touchdowns. He was so confident that even said that he believes that he was a better wide receiver than Calvin Johnson (aka Megatron). Okay…stop laughing. In May 2012, the Lions sent Young home after he sucker-punched safety Louis Delmas. In November 2012, the Lions sent him home again for conduct detrimental to the team. According to Lions coaches, Young deliberately lined up in the wrong position twice and got into a verbal confrontation with receivers coach Shawn Jefferson. He was declared inactive for the team’s Thanksgiving Day game a week later and told to stay away from the facility. On December 5, the Lions placed Young on injured reserve, ending his season. To express his frustration, Young tweeted about not wanting to play anymore if he did not get the ball. Young was released a little more than a month later.
On February 5, 2013 the Rams were the only team that turned in a waiver claim for Young. They felt like he was worth a look and this is coming from a team that will be hurting at the WR position with Danny Amendola and Brandon Gibson as unrestricted free agents. After evaluating Titus and looking at his background, Rams head coach Jeff Fisher states that Young would be better suited for another team. He was released 10 days later, with the Rams saying they wanted to go “in a different direction”.
I hope it’s not too late for Young, but he won’t be the first to blow a once in a lifetime opportunity and sadly he will not be the last.