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Friday, August 22, 2008

Dawgs to Watch No. 8: Vince Vance

On an offensive line that doesn't have a single junior or senior, Vince Vance is the elder statesman.

A transfer from Georgia Military College, Vance is a senior in terms of college credits, but on the field, he still feels like the new kid on the block.

He has never started a game. He has just one year of playing time under his belt. He has only been playing on the offensive side of the ball for three years. Still, he's the old man of the crew.

"I don't feel like an old guy because I'm only two years here," Vance said, "but in the classroom, I feel old. I'm the only senior in the classroom."

The football field, however, has been Vance's real classroom the past two years.
First, he was moved from defensive end to offensive line while still at Georgia Military, a move he didn't exactly endorse.

Then, when he arrived in Athens, he has a brand new offensive line coach, one he didn't exactly see eye to eye with.

This year, he has moved from tackle to guard, and although he's in line for a starting role, he's not taking anything for granted.

"I'll never say I feel better about it because it changes every week," Vance said. "It's like they say, you practice how you play, and Coach Searels, he'll switch you if you're not doing your job, and I don't want to take that chance."

Vance's attention to detail has impressed coaches.

Last season, Vance saw some action, but his failure to grasp the techniques Searels preached kept him from landing a bigger role. This year, Vance is progressing quickly.

"It's a lot in his play and his demeanor," head coach Mark Richt said. "Searels is on him, but he can handle it a lot better than before. He seems to be like he's more mature and more focused on getting the job done, doing it right. Stop making up excuses and let's go. I think he's really made a lot of strides in that way."

Those strides have earned Vance the top spot on the depth chart at left guard, part of a line low on experience, but high on talent. And as the elder statesman, Vance is hoping his work ethic this season rubs off on the rest of the line and keeps him in the starting lineup.

"I felt like it's never going to be set in stone to be a starter, so I've got to push myself every day to make sure I keep my starting job."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I would like to see Richt get on the Coaches performance as much as the Coaches get on the players performance. Everyone one can do better. I do think Searles is one of the better Coaches.