“When he speaks everybody listens.” Redshirt senior O’Rien Vance a top leader for the Cyclone defense

Published: Aug. 4, 2022 at 10:39 PM CDT
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AMES, Iowa (KCRG) - Iowa State head coach Matt Campbell said he was happy O’Rien Vance decided to come back for a fifth season, not just for what he can do on the field, but his leadership off of it.

“You talk about a guy that steps into that locker room, and when he speaks everybody listens,” Matt Campbell said. “O’Rien Vance is the epitome in terms of great leaders that we’ve had in this program, he fits it.”

Vance leads by example. Even though he was limited due to an injury in 2021, he’s still a pillar in the Cyclones’ locker room.

“I’ve been able to grow a lot mentally. I’ve been able to be a better leader,” said Vance. “It’s helped this team significantly, I feel like these young guys they definitely look up to me as that veteran older leader. With all the wisdom I have, they’re constantly asking questions and it feels good.”

In addition to his expanded leadership, Vance has grown physically. The Washington graduate was listed at about 235 in high school, now an imposing 260.

But it’s his selflessness that still stands out the most.

“I think if you ask O’Rien Vance he didn’t just come back here for O’Rien Vance, he came back here to leave it better than he found it,” Campbell said. “A healthy O’Rien Vance is really big for Iowa State football in my opinion.”

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