We are delighted here at All Sports Discussion to have an interview with former Virginia Tech football player, Dwight Vick. From 1994 to 1999, Dwight played offensive guard for the Hokies. He helped lead the Hokies to five consecutive bowl game appearances and two consecutive Big East conference championships. As a senior in 1998, Dwight was selected All Big East and served as team captain. Without further ado, let’s start our interview!!
@HokieGuru: What made you decide to become a Hokie?
@Vick757: I wanted to become a Hokie when I saw the Hokies play in the Independence Bowl! They played with so much energy and passion. I saw Defensive Back Antonio Banks and Defensive End Lawrence Lewis make plays in the Independence Bowl and both of those guys were older than me but also guys I played against in high school. I had so much respect for them! I also wanted to go to Tech because of the guys that I knew were seriously interested in attending Virginia Tech. They were coming out my same year as me in high school. Guys like Todd Washington, Derek Smith, Ken Oxendine, Marcus Parker, and Tony Morrison. These guys were highly ranked high school players that were also Virginia guys who I had a great deal of respect for and I believed they were also great players. I could just tell the momentum was building for something special in Blacksburg!
@HokieGuru: Are you going down to Blacksburg this year for any football games?
@Vick757: Actually I try to go to more road games since they are easier to get tickets to than home games. Plus I like seeing different stadiums. I think I will go to the Cincinnati game because they are playing them at Fed Ex field. That will feel like a home game for the Hokies. If I do go to home game, I will try to go the FSU game on Thursday night. I think the atmosphere in Lane stadium will be electric.
@HokieGuru: On a professional basis, what are you doing today?
@Vick757: Currently I am currently the Director of Student Development for a company I help create called College Prep World. I have been a columnist for a few years now. I was a coumnist a few years with Hokiehaven.com and now I am with 247 Sports- VTScoop.com . As Director of Student Development, I oversee our high school and college internship program. I also created a Life Skills Mentoring program as well as conduct symposiums across the country where I advise students and their families on college eligibility requirements, career development, goal setting as well as life skills.
@HokieGuru: Tell us about some of your professional football experiences.
After completing my career at Virginia Tech, I signed with the Baltimore Ravens as a free agent where I participated in their mini- camp before getting released. Prior to getting released by the Ravens, I thought I was going to get drafted by the Patriots. I can recall the Patriots contacting Virginia Tech asking for my medical records and personal information. Yet that is how the draft goes, you just never know which team is going to draft you. But I’m okay with it because after getting cut, I tried out for a few other teams but eventually I went back to school and earned two more degrees. I received two Master degrees: M.A. -Marriage and Family; M.A. – Human Services with a Specialization in Family Therapy. I realized even before I graduated from Virginia Tech, I had to have a backup plan.
@HokieGuru: Who are some of the Hokies and NFL football players you still stay in contact with?
@Vick757: Wow!!! There are so many of them I keep in contact with, of course my cousins Michael and Marcus Vick. I also speak with Todd Washington, Keion Carpenter, D.J. Parker, Ken Oxendine, Corey Moore, Larry Austin, Ronyell Whitaker, Marcus Parker, Derek Smith, Andre Kendrick, Cornell Brown, Shyrone Stith, Andre Davis, Loren Johnson, Al Clark, Brian Edmonds, Ryan Williams, Richard Bowen, Anthony Lambo, Lawrence Lewis, Chris Malone, Jim Druckenmiller, Willie Pile, Carl Bradley, Shawn Scales and so many more!!! The football program is really a family at Virginia Tech!
@HokieGuru: Please tell our readers about some of your memorable experiences as a Virginia Tech football player.
@Vick757: There are so many memorable experiences!Each season was special! I loved when my cousin Michael came to Virginia Tech because I knew he was going to special player! I also loved being on the 1995 team! The 1995 season was the season that I feel made Virginia Tech the program that it is now! Beating Texas in the Sugar Bowl was amazing. I also will never forget my last game as a Hokie when we beat Alabama in the 1998 inaugural Music City Bowl. We beat Alabama 38-7, which is still their worst bowl game loss in school history. I loved every year at Virginia Tech. I just miss being with my teammates and coaches.
@HokieGuru: What is your fondest memory at Virginia Tech?
@Vick757: My fondest memory was graduating from Virginia Tech with two Undergraduate degrees: B.S. in Sociology and a B.S. in Family Child Development. Getting two degrees and being a successful student as well as athlete was so important to me and remains a special accomplishment in my life.
@HokieGuru: How much do you miss your time at Virginia Tech?
@Vick757: I miss being there all the time but at the same time I love my life now! I have been married for 11 years and have 3 children. So I am doing well. I miss playing at Virginia Tech but I don’t miss those long nights studying. I guess since I always go back to Virginia Tech and visit for the Spring game and other weekends, I still feel connected to the school.
@HokieGuru: What is your prognosis for the 2012 Virginia Tech football team?
@Vick757: I believe this will be a VERY special season for the Hokies. For the first time in a while, there is no pressure to win the ACC or they are not a dark horse to win the National Championship. As long as I have been affiliated with Virginia Tech, we always do better when there is no overwhelming hype surrounding the program. I think Logan Thomas will lead his team to another ACC Championship and I think the defense will be a nationally ranked defense. Somewhere in the top 5. Overall this will be a very good team.
@HokieGuru: Virginia Tech has been the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) leader in football. To what do you attribute that success? Coaching longevity? The top-notch strength and conditioning program? Elite players?
@Vick757: I believe Virginia Tech has been successful in the ACC because their coaching staff does the best with developing talent on the collegiate level. Of course Virginia Tech gets a great deal of talent but they also get players that best fit their system. And yes having a great coaching staff that has been together for a long time is huge. But fans also need to understand the Hokies have some very special coaches at Virginia Tech. Coaches like Torrian Gray, Coach Gentry, and Coach Foster are truly some of the best in the country. Coach Gentry is the best strength coach in the country and Coach Foster is the best defensive coordinator in the country. Think about this, last year was a rebuilding year and the Hokies played for an ACC Championship.
@HokieGuru: Any advice for the young men out there that read this about getting ready for college and beyond from your experiences as a football player? Was there anything that you took from your away experience on the football team that could help you in other areas of life?
@Vick757: Be a leader and always have a transitional plan for life after playing football!! Just don’t be content with getting a scholarship and playing on Saturdays. By this I mean it is okay to play football but don’t be afraid to learn about how to eventually become a general manager one day, write a sports column, or become analyst. Or it is okay to play video games but why not learn how to create video games. Too many of us athletes think we have made it when we are just engaging in a game that will eventually end. I still see guys that played with or played shortly after me who struggle to find peace of mind because they think that they should still be playing football when their career ends. No one is going to play “Enter Sandman” when it is time for you to commute to work, raise your kids, pay your bills, or take the trash out. When you are interviewing for a job after you are done playing football, the professionals you are speaking with most likely will not care if you were All –ACC. As a student athlete interact with different students while in college instead of always developing relationships with people who are also athletes. By this I mean interact with engineers and others who may be in a different field than you. This will assist you with learning more about others as well as build a bigger professional network. This is very important for the journey of life after football.
We thank Dwight Vick for his time!!! GO HOKIES!!