Titus Young: Will he Ever Play Again?
It was almost inevitable that the greatest catch in Boise State football history would be wiped from the memory of Bronco fans just one play later. After all, it was Titus Young with the catch and his life and career were about to take a wild and crazy path to the NFL and incarceration.
It was November 26, 2010, a Friday night in Reno, Nevada. Boise State was undefeated and with a win over Nevada would head to a major New Years Day Bowl with a chance to finish the year number one in the country.
While the Wolfpack, with Colin Kaepernick at quarterback weren't about to let BSU leave town without a fight, Boise State led the game 24-7 heading into the fourth quarter and victory seemed assured.
Nevada rallied and with 13 seconds to play Kaepernick hit Rishard Matthews with a 7 yd. touchdown pass and with the point after the game was suddenly tied 31-31.
Everyone was thinking overtime except BSU quarterback Kellen Moore and wide receiver Titus Young. Moore made a mighty heave down the center of the field and with a leaping dive, his body perpendicular to the field, Titus Young stretched his body and made a finger tip catch at the three yard line with 3 seconds to play.
Titus Young had just saved the day, the game, the season with what would certainly become the biggest catch in Boise State history.
That's when fate reared it's ugly head and a chip shot field goal to win was wide right, or was it? Nevada had short uprights in 2010 and while the ball appeared to sail above the right upright, it was called wide. A standard upright would have avoided the controversy and Boise States 34-31 loss in overtime.
As for the catch...that was long forgotten!
Titus Young would go on to the NFL and play 26 games with the Detroit Lions but attitude and trouble followed Young where ever he went.
Since 2013 some 25 criminal charges in Southern California led to jail time and eventually a diagnoses of Young being bipolar.
Young would fight the diagnosis saying he was too macho for medicine. That decision cost him his NFL career and his freedom.
Then this past Saturday Young was released from prison on parole and with a new attitude Young told the media he hopes to get another shot at the NFL. Whether or not the NFL will give Titus his chance remains to be seen but for now after serving some 20 months in prison Titus Young is ready to try and rebuild what his daemons tried to break down for so many years.
The catch that night in Reno is still one of the best catches I've ever seen a Boise State receiver make, it was certainly the most clutch!
However, because of circumstances beyond Young's control the catch is widely forgotten these days, much like his NFL career but for a whole other reason.
Time will tell if Titus Young can pick up the pieces and if the NFL will take that chance and make the right call.