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2022 NFL Draft Prospect Interview: Jacob Vance, OL, Murray State University

Murray State offensive lineman Jacob Vance is a mauling offensive lineman who recently sat down with Draft Diamonds writer Justin Berendzen.
  • Name: Jacob Vance
  • Position: OL
  • College: Murray State University 
  • Height: 6’4″
  • Weight: 315 lbs
  • Twitter: @jv3260

1.) What made you decide you wanted to be a football player?

There have been many different aspects of my life that made me want to become a football player but the one that sticks out for me the most is just how much I love the game. I have played football since I was 6 years old and it has been such a big part of my life since I first stepped on a field. I have wanted to play in the NFL for as long as I can remember so wanting to become a football player has really been my lifelong dream and goal. 

2.) What are your favorite things about playing football for Murray State?

There are so many things I have enjoyed while playing football at Murray State. The city of Murray is a great town full of even greater people, everyone has always been supportive of not just me but our entire team no matter the year. Also the MSU football alumni, the RFAA, are all great guys and do so much for our program, and for me personally they have such a great relationship with my family they make them feel welcome and treat them like they never left whenever they are at a game no matter if it’s home or away it really means a lot. Lastly, all of the relationships I have built and friends I have made over the years are by far my favorite. Coming to a place where I knew nobody that was a big emphasis for me was building those friendships and relationships and at this point in my career now I have people I’ll be friends with for the rest of my life. 

3.)What sets you apart from other offensive linemen?

I think there are three big things that set me apart from other offensive linemen. Those are my preparation, technique and effort. Effort has always been non negotiable for me since I lwas a kid no matter what sport I played and if you asked anyone of my collegiate coaches I’m confident none of them would say that I don’t play with tremendous effort on every snap. My preparation I take great pride in and I believe sets me apart from most. I am a film guru and believe it is the best way to get an edge on your opponent by knowing what not just the man across from you but the whole defense is most likely to do in every situation you could possibly face them in and being one step ahead of them before the ball is ever snapped. Then when it comes to my technique I think that sets me apart the most. Being a technician I think puts you in the best position to win a rep no matter what. In my experience playing I have seen and faced people who were more physically gifted than myself but by having great technique and having strong confidence in my technique I have had great success. 

4.)If you could hang out with any football player past or present for a day who and why?

If I could hang out with any past or present football player I would choose Ryan Jensen. The reason I would choose Ryan Jensen is because he came from a small non FBS school and I would just want to ask him what it took for him to reach the level that he is at and the advice he would give to guys like me who are trying to follow in his footsteps. 

5.) What should we know about Jake Vance the person?

The thing people should know about Jake Vance the person is that he is very self motivating. He doesn’t need someone in his ear to push him or motivate him, he has that inner voice in his head that already does that. Also that he is a competitive person who hates to be outworked or lose at anything whether it is on the field or a board game, video game, etc. Lastly, he is a really caring person. I feel I always have people’s best interest at heart. Especially when it comes to my teammates and family there is very little I wouldn’t do for someone if I really care about them and they’re future. 

6.)What role do you hope to have if you make it into the NFL?

The role I hope to have in the NFL ideally would be to work my way onto the field into a starting position. At the very least though I would just want to be a contributor in any way possible. To do whatever I can to help the team that gives me an opportunity get better everyday. 

7.) How do you prepare for games?

I prepare for games first off by watching and studying all the film I can to try and learn as much about my opponent as possible. Secondly is learning through practice reps and looks. I like to see it and feel it throughout the week of practice to gain confidence on the different looks we expect to see so when gameday comes I can play to my best ability. Also by making sure my body is ready to go and making sure I feel good physically as well as mentally before stepping on to the game field.  

8.) What is your mindset when you are on the football field?

When I step between the white lines my attitude is that I’m the best one on the field. That there is nothing my opponent is going to throw at me that I haven’t repped and prepared for over and over before and that whoever is lined up across from me, while the game clock has time on it, is my biggest enemy in the world and trying to keep me, and my team, from reaching our ultimate goals. 

9.) What is a moment that improved you as a football player?

I would say the moment that really improved me the most as a football player was getting my first collegiate start under my belt. That really opened my eyes and put the confidence in me that not only did god bless me with all the tools needed to be successful doing this, but I have the ability to do it successfully at a high level if I continue to work and improve every day. 

10.)What would a team get in a player like you?

What a team would get in a player like me is someone who truly loves the game of football and is going to work his tail off to achieve the goals he has set out for himself. Someone who is going to show up everyday not just on time but early and do anything in my power to benefit the organization I would be blessed to be a part of. 

11.)What type of energy do you bring onto the football field?

When I play, the energy I try to bring and spread is uplifting and positive. I do my best to not be negative as I feel when you’re in the heat of the moment, negativity just creates division and distrust between you and the guys next to you. For me it’s always going to be we got it this next time, or brush that play or drive off still got time on the clock, etc. I try to help keep a short memory and level heads especially when the ball hasn’t bounced our way.      

12.) What are you looking forward to in your upcoming season?

The thing I am looking forward to most is finishing what we started from this spring season. We had an opportunity to win a conference championship which is something that hasn’t been done at my school, in football, in almost 20 years and I want to leave Murray State not only a conference champion but leave knowing I was a part of the teams that made a change in the culture for Murray State football. 

NFL Draft Diamonds was created to assist the underdogs playing the sport. We call them diamonds in the rough. My name is Damond Talbot, I have worked extremely hard to help hundreds of small school players over the past several years, and will continue my mission. We have several contributors on this site, and if they contribute their name and contact will be in the piece above. You can email me at nfldraftdiamonds@gmail.com

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