Air Force Athlete of the Week: Shaq Vereen

Shaq Vereen / Ashley Giovanna -- FOX21 Sports

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — After several key seniors graduated the Academy in May, linebacker Shaq Vereen knew it was his time to step up and help the Falcons defense.

“It is crazy to see because I remember my freshman year, we had Jordan Pierce and Jordan Mays and Kale Pearson and all of them. I looked up to them, now it is kind of crazy that freshmen and sophomores look up to me. It is kind of surreal, but I really do enjoy it. That means I am making an impact and that is what I want to do,” said Vereen.

After surpassing his total career tackles earlier this season, the senior management major took his role to the next level against CSU.

“I was just in the zone, playing by the check out route by the running back and the out by number one, I believe. He just threw it and I just went up and got it. I have to thank everyone on that team because they forced him to throw that ball. I just happened to be at the right place at the right time. After that I just used my feet, I was very scared I was going to get hit and fumble. So, I was just trying to find a way to the end zone.”

The interception helped to change the tide of the game.

“It was definitely good for the defense because we have not forced that many turnovers. And we have not scored on defense since like my sophomore year, I think. Everyone has written us off to not be as good or tenacious enough or just not producing enough. I know I have to do my part and that would ultimately help all the others on the team.”

The Falcons are riding a three game win streak into their final match up for the Commander-in-Chief’s trophy, when they host Army West Point this Saturday, November 4.

“It’s our last service academy and it’s going to be a packed house crowd. My family is coming in and we just want to go out on a high note. They are a great team, they are six and two. It’s not going to be a push over game, absolutely not.”

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