XM Radio host and NFL writer Adam Caplan is reporting the Colorado Buffaloes football program will add former Minnesota Vikings backup RB Albert Young to their coaching staff:
Former #Vikings RB Albert Young is headed to University of Colorado as an asst football coach.— Adam Caplan (@caplannfl) July 9, 2012
And he seems excited by the opportunity:
First day, puttin that work in!instagr.am/p/M3vJrtlxP0/— Albert Young (@adotyoung) July 9, 2012
At the same time, the hiring presents the interesting paradigm of NFL career paths. Many might look at Young's career and say the 27-year-old was a failure. He rushed for 3173 yards with the Iowa Hawkeyes, yes, but he never got a national championship -- never got so much as a No. 5 ranking with Iowa. And in all but his Sophomore year, Young was splitting carries with RB Damian Sims (undrafted).
And then we look at his NFL career -- 10 games where he logged stats. He rushed for 25 attempts and averaged 3.3 yards and never got a touchdown. At age 25, he was a free agent -- unwanted in Minnesota -- and bounced around to the Jacksonville Jaguars and Pittsburgh Steelers before leaving the pro game for good.
But to call his career a failure is to poorly define success. Young spent three years of his life at the highest level of his profession. To be merely a practice squad player in the NFL is to already be the cream of the collegiate crop.
And now that he has entered the coaching ranks -- and at a respected school, no less -- it would be foolish to describe him as much other than a success. He has flourished when given opportunities, and he has blazed new trails when there were none.
So congrats, Albert, on the new gig. We hope you do well.