News With Commentary by TSL Staff

Thursday, January 11, 2001
by Will Stewart,

Vick Makes it Official: He's NFL Bound

In a press conference today at the Boys and Girls Club of Hampton Roads, Michael Vick made it official that he will enter the NFL Draft.

"This has been one of the hardest decisions I've ever had to make in my life," Vick told a crowd of dozens of family members, friends, Newport News residents, and members of the media. "Everyone has been great to me. My coaches, my teammates, Virginia Tech, and especially the fans.

"My family has been supportive of me, and now I have the opportunity to take care of them. So I've decided to leave Virginia Tech and enter the NFL draft."

The crowd broke out in loud applause at the announcement, and interrupted Vick with more applause several times during his brief statement and follow-up question and answer session.

Vick thanked the Virginia Tech coaching staff, players and fans, telling Hokie followers, "I'll always be a Hokie." Vick also thanked his family and his high school coach and mentor, Tommy Reamon.

"It's been a tough, long road, but I've managed to make it through," Vick said. After thanking "Poo" Johnson of the Boys and Girls Club, Vick ended his prepared statement with "I'm excited about playing in the NFL, and it's just a dream come true."

A short question and answer session with the media followed, and Vick shed a little light on when and how he made his decision. He said that his final decision was made "just a couple of days ago," and he said that he thought about a lot of factors, including the possibility of injury and taking care of his family. "Hopefully I've made the right decision," Vick told the crowd. "All I can do is move forward and not look back."

When asked what changed his mind after his December 15th press conference, in which he said he was coming back to Tech to continue to grow as a person and as a player, Vick said, "I knew that one day in my life, I was going to have to grow up and mature and be a man ... I realize that I still have a lot to learn, and you know, I just said to myself, 'Be a man, and not a boy.'"

When asked about possibly being the top pick in this year's draft, Vick said, "It was something that I thought about, and if it is true, it would be the greatest feeling in the world, being the number one draft pick, coming from where I come from."

Vick said that he has not selected an agent, but he reportedly drove a silver Lexus to the press conference.

"I spent a lot of time thinking about what I really wanted to do, and what direction I wanted my life to go towards," Vick said, "and I realized this was just a great opportunity for me, and it is something that I've dreamed about since I was a young boy. It's something that I've been blessed with, and I've made this decision, and I won't look back."


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