In the city of Ames, Iowa, O’Rien Vance’s coach cannot say enough good things about the veteran defender and his contribution to the Cyclones’ success in the Big 12 conference.
The player from Cedar Rapids is from the class of 2017 and has conquered his space in the team, not only as a benchmark of their defense but also as a leader for the younger ones. So, how did the defender cement his leadership role in one of the best football teams in Iowa?
Sophomore @orienvance24 ranks fourth nationally and leads the nation among linebackers in sacks per game (1.38). Vance is one of only five players nationally to have a sack in every game on the season. #ProveIt
— Cyclone Football (@CycloneFB) September 29, 2019
Praise from the Coach
During his time at Iowa State, one of the best sports teams in Iowa, Coach Matt Campbell has seen a number of talented linebackers come through the program, but none with more esteem and leadership potential than O’Rien Vance. Indeed, the once-hailed three-star talent has been a member of the Cyclones since 2017, and he has already begun an incredible 32 games in his professional career.
On the football field, Vance is the kind of defender who provides energy, and the rest of the defense always feeds off his enthusiasm. Despite being the main attraction, Will McDonald has Vance to thank for rallying the troops and setting the tone. The Iowan is the Draymond Green of the squad, showing similar tenacity and grit. Campbell values Vance’s contributions to the team highly.
According to Campbell, this individual is “the man that comes into that locker room, and when he speaks everybody listens.” When I think of the tremendous leaders we’ve had in this program, O’Rien Vance is the gold standard.
O'Rien Vance has announced over instagram that he will return to Iowa State Football in 2022. pic.twitter.com/8QkXKKBYWh
— CycloneFanatic.com (@cyclonefanatic) January 6, 2022
O’Rien Dedication to the Team
Vance has poured his heart and soul into making Iowa State a top team in the Big 12 Conference. The sums he comes up with are reliable as well. Vance has recorded 194 career tackles and ten career sacks. The 6-2 260-pounder was also named the Fiesta Bowl’s Defensive Most Valuable Player after helping his team beat Oregon.
Vance’s output dropped last year because of an ongoing hamstring problem. He seems to be becoming more involved as the Cyclones progress through fall camp. And if Vance is indeed back in his 2020 form, that’s a frightening prospect for ball carriers across the conference.
When it comes to his senior linebacker, the coach sees everything going full circle. Consequently, he is prepared for Vance to fly solo.
After saying, “I think he’s worked really, really hard to be the healthiest he’s been over the course of the last couple of years,” “That’s going to be fantastic for us at autumn camp,” he exclaimed.
Vance has certainly sacrificed a lot for his position as leader. By Campbell’s account, he has raised the bar for Cyclone defenders everywhere. Furthermore, a coach would do well to have a quarterback like that on defense. Campbell thinks Vance is the right man for the job and is particularly pleased by Vance’s dedication to putting the team first.
O'Rien Vance with a fumble recovery. Cyclones will take over at the ISU42 with 9:05 remaining.
KU 14, ISU 11 | 9:05 4Q
— Cyclone Football (@CycloneFB) October 1, 2022
A Commitment to Improvement
The 23-year-old has been in his position before, so he knows how to keep his head down and be grateful for the praise.
He has a never-say-die drive to succeed and a relentless pursuit of improvement, and Vance expects nothing less from his colleagues. The motto is “motivate yourself and never settle for mediocrity.” Each year, Vance plays a key role in the Cyclones’ stellar defense, which ranks among the best in the league.
It’s no secret that his knowledge, direction, and output are invaluable. Campbell is confident that he is due for an All-Big 12 level season in 2022 and that he is deserving of all of the success that will come his way. Because of this, he is concerned about Vance pressing too hard during practice and being hurt again.
There may be insufficient tackles to go around now that he has so much quality surrounding him on the defensive line and in the secondary. And that’s a fine dilemma for Campbell to have.
The 42-year-old trainer is inspired most by Vance’s journey, particularly his tenacity and success thus far. He’s going to reap the rewards of his persistent effort. Campbell, therefore, is looking forward to this upcoming season so that the veteran may forever secure his place in Cyclone lore.
I think it’s great news for Iowa State football if O’Rien Vance can stay healthy.
Highest graded defensive players from Week 5:
1. Princely Umanmielen, Florida: 93.3
2. Nathaniel Watson, Miss State: 91.9
3. O’Rien Vance, Iowa State: 91.5 pic.twitter.com/bkLmsNGaHs
— PFF College (@PFF_College) October 4, 2022
Credits on Featured Image: Keith Johnson/Pixabay