The Daily Pennsylvanian asked Penn sprint football's Laquan McKever 15 questions about his sport, his time at Penn, and his life overall. Here's what the junior had to say.
1. Introduce yourself.
I’m a junior doing PPE with a consumer psychology minor in the College.
2. Walk me through your average day.
My average day, I wake up around 8 or 9, I pretty much go to all my classes. Even though they’re asynchronous, I try to attend them synchronously to keep a schedule. Then after classes I usually go to the gym for an hour or two, then I come back home and just watch some TV.
3. What do you think of Penn’s decision to go virtual?
At the end of the day, the school had an obligation to make sure that students and faculty are safe. Even though it’s a college and there are a lot of younger people here who aren’t as vulnerable, we still have tons of older professors and faculty members here who the school has a job to project. I think they made the right decision.
4. How did you get into sprint football?
In high school I pretty much knew I wanted to play football and I knew I wanted to go to the Ivy League. But also, I wasn’t sure if I wanted a D1 time commitment. So sprint football was the perfect opportunity.
5. What’s it like playing sprint football for Penn?
It’s really fun. I’m surprised by how much sprint football is involved in school communications. I always tell my friends how much I appreciate the DP reaching out to sprint football players. I feel like every time I’m scrolling through Twitter, I see a sprint football article popping up. So I think it’s really cool, really fun. I wouldn’t want it any other way.
6. What motivates you?
I’m just the kind of person where no matter what I do, anything I do in life I’ll want to be the best no matter what level it is. Every day I wake up with the desire to be the best, and that’s all the motivation I need.
7. How has the transition to online classes been?
I did a virtual internship this summer, so I was literally cooped up in my room the entire summer from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. So it’s been honestly pretty seamless, maybe a little bit better since I already had to deal with it over the summer.
8. What are the biggest challenges of training during a remote semester?
Obviously with all the facilities being shut down, you have to outsource. Whether it’s walking 20 minutes to the gym or 15 minutes to a park, it’s just a little bit more time added into the routine of training. It’s also not as structured, which has been a challenge.
9. What are your predictions for the spring at Penn?
I hope that the school can somehow provide us with a season. The NFL and other Division 1 programs are having games every weekend and there haven’t been any major reports of an outbreak. If these bigger schools can do it, maybe a school like Penn can do it. Same thing with academics, I think that Penn can probably find a balance. They were talking about a hybrid model before, so I think that this spring is definitely a time where that could be put in place.
10. What was your reaction to athletics being canceled?
It was pretty devastating. I just kind of felt a sense of emptiness because I do love Penn and the academic side of it, but athletics is what keeps me motivated to wake up, go to class, work out, play some football. It was pretty devastating, but I do think Penn made the right decision.
11. Are there any silver linings to virtual classes?
I’m not gonna lie, I love being able to make my own daily schedule. Classes are, for the most part, asynchronous, so honestly I’ve been telling people “I’m gonna miss this, I’m gonna miss being able to wake up when I want, go to class when I want, and just structure my day how I want to structure them.” I definitely think that’s something that’s underrated in this whole situation.
12. What has been the highlight of your athletic career so far?
We fell short of making it to the championship game two years in a row, so it’s tough to find a real highlight that’s not personal. But our team had a coaching change recently, and ever since the transition happened the commitment and rigor of sprint football has really increased so it’s close to a Division 1 schedule on a day-to-day basis. I would say that’s a highlight because before, it was a little bit too lax, too easy. But I feel like sprint became a challenge in the spring before corona happened.
13. What do you miss most about training with the team?
I just miss having run and getting rowdy and challenging people. I miss that team chemistry being built every day.
14. If you weren’t playing sprint football or football in general, what sport would you be doing?
If I wasn’t playing football, I would either be doing wrestling or lacrosse, probably lacrosse.
15. What’s your favorite thing about playing sprint football for Penn?
I guess my favorite thing about playing sprint football with Penn is that it’s where I’ve met my primary circle of friends. My closest friends are my teammates, my roommate is also my teammate. So definitely the team camaraderie, the friends I’ve made, and the experiences we’ve all had together.
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