ESPN has made it quite clear over the past few years: They are no strangers to Florida A&M University.
They have been sending recruiters each fall semester for the past two to three years to offer students internships and/or entry-level positions at their main headquarters in Bristol, Conn.
They also sent their distinguished panelist of Lee Corso, Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit and Desmond Howard last November to host College Gameday Live on campus.
So why not make another special visit?
His buzz is already growing. He’s been covered on ESPN-U the last two weeks. He even had ESPN analyst Scott Van Pelt talking about his “spectacular” play last Friday on SportsCenter…so what’s all this fuss about cornerback Leroy Vann?
Former Heisman trophy winner and one-fourth of ESPN’s College Gameday crew, Howard stopped by the FAMU to find out.
“You know, you come to Tallahassee and you hear about this great punt returner they got and you automatically think people will think he’s at Florida State, but lo and behold, he’s from FAMU,” Howard said.
So far this season Vann has returned four punt returns for scores.
Two of them came against Winston-Salem State (95 and 80 yards) and the other two (40 and 66 yards) came the very next game against Howard.
Career-wise, Vann has 1,268 yards on 46 kickoff returns with three touchdowns, while recording 710 yards on 37 punt returns with five touchdowns.
So far, no one has been able to figure out what makes Vann so good. Obviously, this was something that interested Howard, a former kick-returner himself, the most.
“I want to see his secrets and what makes him so good,” Howard said. “I want to compare notes and see if we have some of the same things to say to try to break a punt or kickoff return.”
Howard’s visit to FAMU included an exclusive sit down interview with Vann, which will be shown this Saturday during College Gameday Live at 10 a.m.
Vann has already rewritten the Football Bowl Series record for most combined return yards, as well as the records for most combined returns in a season.
He’s currently tied for the record of returns for touchdowns in a year with four.
In a joke to ESPN last week, Vann said he’s looking to shatter the record with a total of 22 touchdown returns.
Vann will have his first opportunity to break the record this Saturday when the Rattlers hit the field in Atlanta against Tennessee State.
Kickoff is scheduled for 4:30 p.m.