Titus Young is a an unfortunate example of how debilitating mental illness can be and the importance of diagnosing individuals who display early symptoms.
What first seemed like a classic case of an athlete out of control has turned into a sad tale. Young’s battles with mental illness have been documented in recent months, but according to his high school coach, E.C. Robinson, Young’s issues are deeper than we imagined.
After Young notoriously lined up incorrectly in a late season game against the Green Bay Packers last season, he was suspended indefinitely by the Lions and paid a visit to his former head coach.
Via Idaho Statesman:
Robinson said Young admitted at Christmas that he meant to line up that way, telling his former coach he was trying to end up where he knew quarterback Matthew Stafford was throwing the ball.
"That's when he went on to tell me, 'They're not giving me the ball' and 'I'm better than Calvin Johnson,'" Robinson said. "I said, 'Titus, you're not as good as Calvin Johnson.' I could tell then. I could see a change."
Young's behavior was much more alarming a couple of months later. Robinson said his daughter had to grab Young to keep him from wandering into traffic in front of their house, and the coach said Young didn't even know the St. Louis Rams had released him 11 days after the Lions did the same thing because of his erratic behavior.
"He shouldn't be out on the streets," Robinson said. "The day he left my house, I was scared. I mean, you've got a loose cannon out there that could go off anytime."