I was always told I had the gift of gab,” Justin Vincent recalls. By that, friends and teammates meant that he was well spoken, but the former Tiger speedster wasn’t sure.
“At first I didn’t know whether to take that as a compliment or an insult.”
Now, he’s gone from the field to the sidelines, working with Louisiana Sunday Kickoff as a broadcaster and with the LSU football program as the assistant director of player personnel.
Vincent capped off his own career in 2006 as one of the most productive running backs in LSU history, rushing for 2,021 yards and 17 touchdowns. As a freshman, he was named MVP of both the 2003 SEC Championship and the BCS National Championship games.
The Lake Charles native earned a Super Bowl ring and two division titles with the Pittsburgh Steelers then decided to come back to Baton Rouge and complete his undergraduate degree at LSU.
“I knew the value to getting my education,” Vincent says.
Along with his friends and family, Vincent credits his success in broadcasting to his education.
“I always tell my players, no matter what you do in life, football will eventually end,” Vincent says. “It is so important to be a student before an athlete, because if you are, when football ends, you will be in a better position to succeed.”
Most of Vincent’s days at LSU now are spent scouting “for the next Heisman winner,” as he puts it. But he spends a lot of time mentoring the current roster of young men. This brings him the most joy.
“It is awesome to be able to take some of these athletes under my wing and help them,” Vincent says. “Being able to share my story to these kids and watch them learn from it is remarkable.”
Vincent can relate well to some players because he too struggled academically for a time. In high school, he almost missed the cut for LSU because of his poor grades. But as a Tiger, Vincent hit the books as hard as he hit the field, becoming an Academic All-American twice.
Now, as a broadcaster, Vincent shares his knowledge of the game with the fans, just as he does with these young players.
“He did a great job on the BCS National Championship show, and we enjoyed working with him,” Chris Comeaux, producer of Louisiana Sunday Kickoff, says. “Justin is just one of the crew now. We have a lot of fun.”
Vincent hopes to continue his work in broadcasting, with dreams of one day having his own radio or television show. His passion for the game is so strong he’s likely to be in the football industry in some form or another for many years to come.
“The show has been a big success across the state, and much of that is because of Justin,” Comeaux says. “We plan on working with him for a very long time.”