The similarities to his brother Michael are striking
The similarities to his brother Michael are striking. Both
are reserved. Modest. Self-confident. Soft-spoken.
Oh, and like his older brother Michael, Marcus Vick can play a little
But family comparisons aside, Marcus Vick would receive plenty of
accolades and recruiting overtures, anyway. Those things should be
expected when you're 6-foot-1, 185 pounds, run the 40-yard dash in 4.4
seconds, and can throw a perfect spiral about 60 yards as a 17-year-old
high school player.
The younger Vick is a rising senior at
Warwick (Newport News) High, where his diverse talents caused fits for
opposing Peninsula District defenses last year. In 2000, Vick tallied
roughly 2,100 yards and 20 touchdowns passing to go along with more than
600 yards and 11 touchdowns rushing. The Raiders finished 8-2, the
school's best finish in over a decade. Not bad for Vicks first year as a
Vick has always been a talented QB, but he did not start there in his
first year on the varsity team. Vick started at wide receiver for the
Raiders in 1999, his sophomore year. Dontrell Leonard, now on
scholarship at Division I-AA Norfolk State, started at quarterback in
1999 after waiting his turn as Michael Vick's backup the year before.
"That was just a coach's decision to have a player wait his
Reamon said. "And I told Marcus why I was doing it. Leonard was a senior
and came here wanting a football scholarship like the rest of them, and
he got it."
So Vick waited his turn as the senior Leonard guided Warwick to a 6-4
record in 1999. How did Vick take to playing wideout? How do twenty-five
catches for over 500 yards and seven touchdowns sound?
After Leonard graduated, Vicks transition back to quarterback was
seamless. He displayed the knack to chip away at defenses with short- to
medium-length passing plays over the middle, but also showed the arm
strength and the touch to throw the deep ball.
And, like his brother, if his receivers were covered and the defense
mounted a pass rush, Vick knew to tuck the ball in and show off his
speed and elusiveness.
Physical gifts aside, Vick has also impressed Reamon and his college
suitors with his passing accuracy and decision-making. Witness his
60-plus percent completion rate and 2-to-1 touchdown-to-interception
Reamon altered the Raiders offense last year to use his quarterbacks
many talents, putting more pressure on opposing defenses. The system,
which is fast-paced and uses spread offensive formations, suits Vick to
a tee. Reamon intends to utilize the same run-and-shoot type offense
"Coach Reamon has helped me a lot," Vick said. "He makes things basic
for me so I'm confident with whats going on."
Reamon sees another benefit from the system he runs. "Thats whats good
about our offensive system," Reamon said. "With our formations, we look
specifically like many of the colleges [that are recruiting Vick]. They
see him making throws in certain situations, and they can picture him
playing for them."
Apparently many colleges can picture Vick playing quarterback for
them. This spring was a whirlwind for Reamon and Vick as college after
college made its pitch to the Warwick star. Reamon and Vick estimate
that the quarterback had visits from 30 colleges during the spring, all
of which have offered Vick a scholarship. The list of colleges is a
who among NCAA powerhouses; Florida, Florida State, Miami and Tennessee
are among them.
"I've never seen anything like it," said Reamon.
"It got pretty tiring," Vick said. "There were lots of visits and phone
The coaches just told me to keep a clear head and stay injury-free my
One question Reamon has already been asked, and figures to be asked
much more, is to compare the Vick brothers. With their looks,
personality and skills seemingly so much alike, how does Reamon compare
Marcus to Michael at the same stage of their development?
"Marcus is more poised and more intelligent in the scheme that we
Reamon said. "It's just like a parent raising children: The younger learns
from how the older was raised, whether it was good, bad or ugly.
"[Marcus] is more aware of defensive systems, he's better with
accuracy, knows a little better what touch to put on different passes….he's
just a complete quarterback."
Vick lists Miami, Georgia, Tennessee, Clemson and Virginia as his top
five college choices, in no particular order. He said that the schools'
offensive schemes played a significant role in his narrowing his list
down to those five.
Vick has also benefited from Reamon's focus on academics. With his 2.2
GPA and 1090 score on the SAT, Vick is already a full NCAA academic
With his academic situation taken care of and a college choice months
away, Vick has turned his attention to his senior year. During the
summer, he will hit the weight room with his teammates, where Vick
sports a solid 265-pound max bench press. The Raiders are also
participating in a 7-on-7 passing league in Chesapeake with many
Southeastern District High Schools. From what he sees so far, Vick
predicts big things for Warwick in 2001.
"I hope we can go 10-0 or 9-1," Vick said.
Warwick will have a very talented team this year, led by Vick and
another senior, wideout Brenden Hill. Hill was second in the district in
receiving last year as a tight end, but will move to receiver this year.
Vick is also high on junior Carlos Wyche and sophomore Larry Taylor, two
speedy receiving targets.
Like many of the top Peninsula District
quarterbacks in recent years, Vick will play both ways this year. He
will line up at free safety, as he did last year. Reamon calls this a
necessity because Vick is the most athletic player on the team.
But when he is not tackling a running back or defending wide
receivers, Vick will concentrate on leaving his own legacy at
quarterback. As it is, he is clearly the best quarterback to play in the
Peninsula District since, well, his brother and Ronald Curry graduated
Vick expects improvement from himself over last seasons performance.
"I think I will be better at looking defenses over, and I think my
passing accuracy will be better."
With the talented and determined Vick leading the way, is this the
year Warwick makes its first playoff appearance under Reamon? "I hope
Vick said. "If not this year, then never."
Editor's Note: Be sure to check back for Matt's interview with
Brenden Hill, wide receiver with Warwick, a favorite on field target of
Marcus Vick, who is being heavily recruited as well.
is a part-time journalist for the Daily Press in Newport News, Va., and
is a regular contributor to Virginiapreps. He is a rising junior at Old
Dominion University in Norfolk, where he will be the sports editor for
the student paper, the Mace & Crown, this fall. You can reach him by
email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
articles published on VirginiaPreps written by Matt include: