Name: Walter James Vance Jr.
School: Limestone College
Q: How did you get started playing football?
- I started playing football in middle school when my mom wouldn’t let me play pop-warner. My mother said I was too young and too little at the time; I just wanted to follow my dad, uncle, and brother’s footsteps whom all played football as well. That’s when I truly learned that size and speed didn’t matter but determination, will, and attitude is what drives an athlete.
Q: What separates you from all the other athletes trying to become a professional?
- After everything that I’ve been through, I never gave up on my dreams. My will and grit separates me from other athletes. Also, the way I study the game and learned it so quickly, everything involving football became instinctual. I’m a fighter and was always taught that the fight comes from within. Most athletes were blessed with the talent and ability to play this game at an high level, but God blessed me with the heart and mindset to be a go-getter.
Q: Tell us about your college choice, career and what the recruiting process was like.
- I chose Limestone because of the amount of scholarship and they also believed in what I could do as a player. Limestone also took a chance on me, and I returned the opportunity within my form of play. My career overall was a success. I had obstacles and challenges just like every athlete, but I was able to persevere. The recruiting process taught me that overall, this game is a business. The recruiting process ultimately determines one area of your destination as a player; college was a mile-marker for me as a player and prepared me for the next step.
Q: What would you consider to be your biggest accomplishment in your sports career so far?
- My biggest accomplishment is being able to learn the game from those who have already played in the NFL thus far. Those that have played before me have laid a foundation for players like me and I have to reach the standard which was set and go beyond.
Q: What do you consider to be one of the more important things you learned from the coaching staff?
- The coaching staff taught us that a player’s attitude in this game can take them a long way. Attitude and perspective is important in football, but my coaches also helped me apply that throughout my life as well. Also, you have to continue to be a student of the game no matter how much you think you know. Constant growth and development is key for any player on any level of football.
Q: What is/was your biggest challenge and how do/did you manage it?
- My biggest challenge was going from a starter to a back-up. I managed it because the situation broke me, then humbled me and ultimately fueled me as a player. This challenge sparked a fire in me as a player which caused me to go even harder every practice, play and game.
Q: What is your biggest strength or X factor that you bring to a professional team?
- My biggest strength is my catching ability and blocking. I am that player that wants to do the dirty work; I will play any position I have to in order to help with the advancement of the team.
Q: Who is or has been the most influential person in your life?
- The person with the biggest influence in my life would be not just one person but my nieces and nephews. They are motivation for me and have such an impact over my life; they are my “Why?”. (God ultimately reigns as number one though.)
Q: What are your goals with football? If football does not work out, then what?
- My goals with football is to always play at the highest level and use this game to not only play, but teach me how to overcome adversity through all aspects of life. If football does not work out, I would still be a student of the game but I would further my education and go earn another degree in construction management.
Q: How did you prepare for the National Scouting Combine and what are your expectations?
- I prepared for the National Scouting Combine by changing my diet. I attained more muscle mass and worked out and trained more. I also sought professional help from different trainers trying to learn as much as I could to prepare. My expectations are to do well enough to get noticed. I also expect to be noticed through a professional perspective when I talk and present myself to the scouts.
Q: What would be your ultimate achievement?
- My ultimate achievement would be to grow my trust and faith in God even more throughout this game. I never thought I was even going to be able to come this far and I just want to continue to allow God to be shown through my game.
Q: If you have to compare yourself to a current pro player, who would it be and why?
- I would compare myself to pro player Adam Thielen because he was overlooked, underrated but showed that through perseverance he became the Minnesota Vikings leading receiver. Just because a player does not reach a goal the first time, does not mean they will not eventually reach that goal. Determination and never quitting due to getting overlooked never broke Adam which is similar to me.