One-on-one with Iowa wide receiver Diante Vines

Daily Iowan Football Reporter Isaac Goffin chatted with Vines at a media availability session on Nov. 8.


Jerod Ringwald

Iowa wide receiver Diante Vines runs after a reception during a football game between Iowa and Wisconsin at Kinnick Stadium on Saturday, Nov. 12, 2022. Vines recorded three receptions for 25 yards. The Hawkeyes defeated the Badgers, 24-10.

Isaac Goffin, Football Reporter

The Daily Iowan: What does it mean for you to come from Connecticut to come out here to Iowa?

Diante Vines: It’s pretty big, just because not a lot of people make it this far. Being from the East Coast and coming to the Midwest, it’s a blessing to come to a school this big and play in the Big Ten. To represent the Hawkeyes is pretty cool for me.

DI: What was it like growing up in Connecticut, going to school there and stuff?

Vines: It’s pretty cool. My first high school, Danbury High, was a pretty fun school. I had all my best buddies from when I was younger. We all went to the same high school, so that was a pretty good time. Then, I went to Taft, it was a pretty good time as well. It was different because now I was in a boarding school, but it still was a fun time. I got to experience life away from home early, and it kind of helped me out to come here.

DI: So, you also played basketball. What was your basketball career like?

Vines: I was a [Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference] defender in high school. I won the FCIAC Championship in high school, so it was a pretty good career. I scored a couple points in my time and played a lot of defense but had a fun time playing high school basketball.

DI: What position did you play?

Vines: Shooting guard.

DI: So, were you more of a facilitator or more of a shooter?

Vines: I got my buckets. I got some buckets, but I did it all for us, really. I would defend the best player on the court usually, and also contribute any way I could on the offensive side.

DI: Were you interested in playing basketball in college or just football?

Vines: Growing up, I wanted to play basketball in college. I just understood I was better at football, so I wanted to play football. 

DI: Were you looking to stay at home, or were you looking more to expand your reach when you were looking at colleges?

Vines: I didn’t want to stay at home. I wanted to go somewhere further just because — it wouldn’t have been bad to stay at home, but I kind of wanted to expand my horizon to go somewhere further and just grow as a man, develop as a man.

DI: What does wearing No. 0 mean to you?

Vines: It means a lot that they trust me to actually wear No. 0 here at the university. Being the first person to wear it is a blessing and honor to do it. I appreciate the coaches a lot for trusting me to start the number off right and have the legacy to start with the No. 0. 

DI: Who do you live with around here?

Vines: I live with Leshon Williams, running back.

DI: What is that connection like with him?

Vines: He’s been one of my best friends since I got here. We roomed my freshman year, and we’ve been roommates ever since in the last three years and we hang out every day. We have so many laughs. We’re a pretty tight friendship.

DI: Where do you hang out? Is it mostly at the apartment, or is it in in town?

Vines: We hang out wherever. A lot of times, we’re just at the apartments just relaxing and listening to some music, cracking jokes on each other, maybe playing a little bit of video games and stuff.

DI: When you go out of your apartment, where do you go to?

Vines: I probably just get some food, go to Chipotle. Maybe hit a movie theater, something like that. Nothing too crazy.

DI: What types of movies do you like to see?

Vines: I like all types of movies. I’m a cinema major. Scary movies are pretty cool. I usually don’t get scared of them, but they’re a cool thing to watch. I’m more fond of comedies though.

DI: What’s your favorite comedy you’ve seen?

Vines: “Friday” is a good one. “Rush Hour,” all those Rush Hours are good.

DI: What are doing with that major?

Vines: Hopefully, after my football career is over, maybe I can write some screenplays and hopefully film or produce the screenplays I write.

DI: Are you just a cinema major, or are you majoring in anything else?

Vines: I minor in African American studies. 

DI: What does it mean to you to minor in African American studies?

Vines: Being African American, it’s good for me to learn my cultural background. So, I feel like learning that stuff allows me to understand more about myself, more about my ancestors, and just be knowledgeable on the fact of so many things that happen in the world today, because there’s a lot of talk about African American people and treatment and stuff like that. So, just being knowledgeable on the fact and to speak on it, being a Black person, I think it’s really important.

DI: Do you have any favorite professors at the university?

Vines: I don’t think I have a favorite one. I think all my professors are pretty good.

DI: Nico Ragaini is also from Connecticut. What’s it like having another receiver in the receiving room from the same state as you?

Vines: That’s my dog. Didn’t know him when he was in Connecticut, but it’s pretty cool that we made it here and now we’re sharing the field. Like last week, me and him played a lot of snaps together. So, it’s pretty crazy for two people from small Connecticut to make it to one of the biggest stages and get to share the field together.

This interview has been lightly edited for length and clarity.