Elected captains redshirt junior quarterback Vad Lee and senior safety Dean Marlowe will help lead the offense and defense, respectively. Lee will captain JMU’s up-tempo spread offense, while Marlowe oversees JMU’s new 3-4 defense.
With the Everett Withers era at the end of month eight, and the season finally on the cusp, we had them tackle the same set of questions concerning on-the-field and off-the-field topics.
What’s the best thing about playing for this new coaching staff?
Lee: The best thing is that they’re passionate. And they’re really teaching me how to love this game even more than I did before.
Marlowe: To reiterate what Vad said, the passion is great. We got a lot of coaches that have a lot of knowledge on things, and they enhance our knowledge on the game. So that’s one of the great things that I love.
What’s the hardest thing about playing for the new coaching staff?
Lee: That they always on top of everything. We can’t lack, or we can’t do anything wrong. So that’s probably not the worst thing, because its making us better, but it’s just you always got to be on your toes.
Marlowe: Hardest thing is they don’t want us to lack anything, really. Just like Vad said, it’s like they’re on top of everything. And you do one thing wrong and you feel like its the end of the world, but its really not, because they’re just trying to make you better. So that’s great.
What’s been the thing you think you’ve improved on the most during camp?
Lee: I think I improved just executing the offense. Learning my responsibilities, learning others’ responsibilities, because that’s what the quarterback has to do.
Marlowe: I enhanced my knowledge of the game a lot. I feel like I can recognize a lot of formations and a lot of things that I didn’t know before. But now I feel like I improved a lot on that.
Theme for the offense?
Lee: Not a theme. Just strength of the unit. Don’t be that guy that mess up, or that don’t cause us to score a touchdown.
Theme for the defense?
Marlowe: Coach [Brandon] Staley, we just go out there and just do four-to-six. Four-to-six, A-to-B, that’s it.
What’s the thing you’re looking forward to most for the season?
Lee: I’m looking forward most, for the first game really. Really seeing how we compete as a team. You don’t really fully know until you play that first game.
Marlowe: I’m looking for every single person and every unit to do what they’re supposed to do and us be successful in each area. That’s really what I’m looking forward to.
What do you think will be your biggest personal challenge this year?
Lee: Just remaining humble. I really don’t see it as a challenge, but I feel like we got a good team. And a lot of attention is going to be coming to JMU, so keeping everybody humble and grounded.
Marlowe: I just need to keep playing, just doing what I do and helping a lot of young guys out that haven’t had the experience that I had. And making sure that they can obtain as much knowledge as I can at the same time. So really, helping others out.
Favorite TV show?
Lee: I really don’t watch TV. I watch ESPN. We don’t have time to watch TV.
Marlowe: We really don’t watch TV like that. I can’t even tell you, I don’t know. I just like watching ESPN. And a TV show, I would have to say, when “Friday Night Lights” was out, I did like “Friday Night Lights.”
Favorite thing to do in Harrisonburg?
Lee: I like to go golfing and hanging out with my teammates.
Marlowe: I just like being around my teammates really. We’re around each other 24/7, so wherever I go they go. So we just hang around and go out to eat, hangout, just chill really.
Favorite NFl team?
Lee: Carolina Panthers.
Marlowe: Eagles, Philadelphia Eagles.
Song that’s a must-have on your pre-game playlist?
Lee: “North Carolina” — Petey Pablo.
Marlowe: I would have to say “Sail” by AWOLNATION. I love that song, it’s a juice song really, it gets you hype.