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Real Talk Season 2 With QBV #5: John Dean Current Captian/Defensive starter for the Yale Bulldogs

Updated: Feb 27, 2021

On this episode on Real Talk, we talk with the 2020 Captain of the Yale Bulldogs John Dean! Dean was born in Wrentham, Massachusetts, and started every game for the Bulldogs in its Ivy League Championship season. With an Impressive football resume he gives some insight on what its on within a Division 1 program.

Dean talks about what his team has been doing to prepare for the next season, what it means to be the only captain at Yale, and his struggles with injuries during his career along with much more.

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What was it like to hear the news that your season was canceled?

"It was defiantly something that we considered as an option that could have happened. I think we got booted off campus right after spring break so from that point to the summer the virus was progressing and as it got more and more rapid across the country that was something our couches defiantly talked and our team talked about is the option of having the Ivy league canceling the season.

When it went down, our head coach called us into a meeting, and he let us know that the season was canceled. It was kinda dishearting for a day or two then right after that, we decided that as a team, that even though we are getting this adversity, were just going to hit it full steam and get ready for the next season that we're gonna play so were planning on attacking the next year, where get the chance to play in whether its the spring or the fall doesn't matter, we are going to be ready to play."

What have you and the team been doing to stay prepared?

"Were a player lead not coach lead team, so being accountable with each other, staying connecting, doing everything we can to make were on top of our own stuff apposed to the coaches hounding us to make sure we are actually working and getting our reps in.

Like no were about the team taking care of each other that's what we been doing and making sure. You know the older guys been through seasons and off-seasons they have been doing a great job, our senior class is awesome with 16/17 guys coming back next season. Everyone doubling down with the extra time if there was a level of commitment for the season that got canceled it's even increased id say for this next season coming up."

How have you adjusted academically?

"Well I have withdrawn from classes in the Ivy League or at yale at least, you only get 8 semesters to complete your course work, and in order for me and some other seniors to get that extra semester to play football, we had to withdraw for the fall and some guys are going to withdraw in the spring. But for me, it's been a withdraw from classes."

What’s it like to be THE captain for Yale?

"If it was the case where I had to take the load by myself, I'm sure it would be a lot. As was touching on earlier, we got a senior class that has really bought into what we're doing, we got 16/17 guys coming back for next fall. You know the guy whos not coming back is taking a six-figure Wallstreet job, he's still with the team now getting the young guys ready. So it's an overall investment from our whole class, you know it's never really been too much for me considering I have such great leadership around me."

What was it like to be on such a successful team last season?

"It was something special, we put a lot of work into that season, you know our offseason is tough, I don't know what other schools do but we have to wake up at like 4:15, 3 to 4 days a week in the spring. You know we go out and it's like 5 degrees out, we're just rolling around the field. That's coaches style, get gritty guys going, just mentally tough guys so the amount we put into the off-season really made it a special season.

We had two really crazy games that year Richmond and Harvard where we were down 2 scores with like a minute and a half left. We score onside kick, then score again in both those games so just living that, personally why I play the game to be in moments like that with guys that you put so much into the game for."

Talk about the culture at yale.

"I'll start on the football side, so coming in I had some things I thought about the team, Like am I just going to be playing with nerds, are kids going to be using like Abacus in the locker room and stuff like that. To my pleasant surprise, the team was filled with guys just like me who love football, consider themselves Football players who just happen to have good enough grades to be able to get into Yale and play.

That was awesome for me, and it basically stayed the same way, I mean everybody on our team is football first over everything so that's great, makes it that much more fun to practice and train or play with the guys. So from the football end, the culture is everything wanted it to be for a college football experience"

"Id say for the campus culture, it's a good time you wouldn't think it would be as fun as it is. New Haven is a good college town. Students, in general, I'd say, everybody is really good at something and that's something a lot of people are not used too in including myself, every single time I walk down the street on campus I look at people and be like, 'oh that guy launches satellites into space or that person is an Olympic figure skater or something like that."

It's crazy, that, and all the international diversity, with how many different prospective you get, it's really a crazy world and at firsts, its a little shock but you really enjoy the different perspectives I have been able to gain here."

What has helped you developed mentally and physically throughout your high school and college career?