(USA Today) -- Michael Vick's path of self-destruction was well-documented before the former Atlanta Falcons quarterback began serving a 20-month sentence for a federal dogfighting conviction in 2007.
And now in a new autobiography -- Michael Vick: Finally Free -- the Philadelphia Eagles quarterback is unveiling his own memories of the bad choices that turned him from a Pro Bowler into a prison inmate.
Said Vick of the humiliation of prison, "You're nobody. You don't have no existence to the world at all. You're just a guy with a name and a number."
His bounce-back season last year, when he leaped past Kevin Kolb on the depth chart to become the Eagles' starter and finished second in MVP voting, has restored the all-star flair with which Vick once played. And Vick has attempted to atone for his crimes by working with the Humane Society to inform young people about the evils and cruelty of dogfighting.
But the memories of his path of deception and bad decisions still haunt Vick.
Vick, 30, hopes he can impart the lessons he learned confined inside a lonely prison cell to young people who might now be damaging their own lives. They are lessons that Vick regrets that he, at age 26, was too naive to absorb.
"My propensity for trying to lie my way out of trouble only made my consequences more severe," he wrote.
Vick admitted that not only was he lying to police investigators, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and Falcons ownerArthur Blank about his involvement in dogfighting, he was also lying to his own defense attorney, Billy Martin.
"When the dogfighting allegation surfaced, my lawyer told me, 'If you were involved, you need to tell me you were involved.' That's when it was on the state rather than the federal level. I kept telling him, 'No, no, I wasn't involved, no, no.' The whole time they were building the case, my lawyer was saying 'no' but he was seeing all this evidence saying 'yes.' If I had just told the truth, maybe I would've received a smack on the wrist instead of a lengthy sentence.
"So now that I think about it, I believe it was the Lord. It was God saying, 'Kid, I gave you a chance to get this thing right.' It was like, 'Carry your ass to jail.' I know He didn't say it like that, but it was like, 'Go on. You need to do some time. You need to learn a lesson.'
"He gave me a chance. He gave me three months - April through July - to go to all these people and say, 'Look, I was wrong,' and to get the correct advice, and to use it correctly. But I didn't do it."
The book is available on July 27, and can be pre-ordered at MichaelVickStory.com.