LB Marquise Vann on Being Named Captain and UConn Facing QB Taysom Hill & BYU


Redshirt junior linebacker Marquise Vann was elected captain by his teammates last week and it is hard, not to see why.

Vann carries a certain confidence about himself, something he gets from his faith.

“Typically with me, I’m always filled with a lot of joy,” Vann said at media day last week. “I’m heavy Christian, I believe in Jesus Christ. For me, that’s where it all comes from and I try to proclaim that faith all the time. That’s why I’m always so happy, so joyful, I don’t mind talking to you, just being myself cause that’s just who I am.”

Getting recognized by the rest of the team to lead was a moment that Vann will always remember.

“Being named captain is definitely a humbling experience for me. It means a lot to me that my teammates would choose me to lead the team and be the guy that they go behind when they run out of the tunnel. That’s just something I look at and say ‘wow, they really chose me to be captain.’ I just want to take that to be the best leader I can be to serve my teammates and to get them to where they want to go. Bowl games, wins, whatever they want to do, I’m the guy they want to follow into that realm.”

Facing dual threat quarterback Taysom Hill, a Heisman candidate entering 2014, will be something the Huskies really haven’t experienced since Denard Robinson at Michigan in 2010.

“I think he’s just a very talented QB that watching on film makes a lot of good plays and does a lot of really good things,” Vann said. “Its a great opportunity to face a QB of his caliber. It will be a great opportunity for us and a great challenge.”

Fellow linebacker, Graham Stewart, who Bob Diaco said is turning into a great player at the position, added on to those comments.

“He’s an excellent football player, there’s a reason why he’s a Heisman candidate, an All-American candidate,” Stewart said yesterday following Bob Diaco’s press conference. “He can run, he can run to throw and he can just throw, so that’s always difficult. You just need to make sure you can contain a guy with that type of athleticism.”

“You don’t change too much when you’re playing a certain team, a certain style. The things you need to do to be successful are play fundamentally sound and keep your eyes on your key. Don’t try to go outside your role because that is when bad things end up happeneing.”

UConn head coach Bob Diaco had a firm message for his players at the end of his weekly press conference yesterday: anything less than high energy, determination and a fighting will, will be unacceptable.

“I agree with him,” Stewart responded. “We’ve been training and waiting for this moment since he came here and was talking to us in the locker room. There’s just a new sense of energy, new sense of pride and new sense of determination to be great and be a good team. I couldn’t tell you how excited I am for it to come.”

Opening against a team like BYU, who has been to nine consecutive bowl games, is a different start to a season than say Towson or UMass.

“Honestly, you should come out for every game treating it like it’s a BCS bowl game,” Stewart noted. “But at the same time, it is a bigger name coming to Rentschler. They’re an excellent football team, but we need to prove that we’re also an excellent football team. We’re excited for the game to come.”

Vann can’t wait to lead not only his linebacker group, but the entire team on opening night.

“Thinking about Friday, it’s gonna be an emotion where you go, ‘its finally here.’ We are ready to figure out what we’ve been working so hard for. I believe we are definitely there, ready to go. We are very focused, very attentive to what we need to do for the task at hand and I just feel like we’re going to come out there with a lot of energy. We’re hungry.” 

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