Ducasse Gaining Major National Attention
Jan. 27, 2010
AMHERST, Mass. - UMass senior All-American offensive lineman Vladimir Ducasse has been the subject of numerous feature stories as the NFL Draft nears. The native Haitian has played a large role in the relief efforts in his homeland. Check out various stories from ESPN, the Associated Press, Sporting News and more. Ducasse could be UMass' first NFL First-Round Draft Pick in more than 40 years.
He is just the fifth UMass player to play in the Senior Bowl and first since 1976. He joins: Milt Morin, End in 1966; John Hulecki, Tight End in 1972; Ed McAleney, Defensive Line in 1976 and James Files, Offensive Line in 1976.
Stamford Advocate - Jan. 28
Vladimir Ducasse has yet to see the movie "The Blind Side," but he is familiar with the plot.
Tweak some of the details, and he has lived it.
"I heard about the story and it is inspiring," Ducasse said the other day in a telephone interview from Mobile, Ala., where he is getting ready to play in Saturday's Senior Bowl. "There are probably other kids who have the same story as me. I don't want to be the center of attention."
Boston Globe - Jan. 27
Vladimir Ducasse doesn't watch the news, so he doesn't have to see the images. His family is fine, so he doesn't have to worry about them. He's plenty busy, so there is enough to take his mind off the terror.
NFL.com - Jan. 26
With an earthquake having devastated his homeland of Haiti, one could forgive University of Massachusetts offensive tackle Vladimir Ducasse for being distracted.
After all, the friends and family he left behind on the island nation are dealing with death and destruction all around them.
ESPN.com - Jan. 26
Senior Bowl week should provide some answers as to whether Vladimir Ducasse can remain at tackle or will have to move to guard, where we believe he is a better fit. Pro scouts want to know if can hold his own against a much higher level of competition than what he faced at FCS UMass, especially during one-on-one pass rush drills and team periods. They will also want to see how tall he is and how long his arms are.
Newark Star-Ledger - Jan. 26
Vladimir Ducasse's agent, Joe Linta, has been representing NFL players for several decades and has had to take care of all kinds of demands from his clients. So when Ducasse wasn't asking for anything at all the past couple of weeks, Linta was stunned.
ESPN.com - Jan. 22
The first time Vladimir Ducasse watched a professional football game was five years ago when the New England Patriots defeated the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl XXXIX.
He had never dreamed of playing in the NFL because, growing up in Haiti, he didn't know what it was. Now he does, and the NFL is certainly aware of him.
Associated Press - Jan. 22
Vladimir Ducasse was focused on his workouts for the Senior Bowl - maybe the most important game of his football career - when the earthquake struck his native Haiti.
It was two days before he learned that his family was safe. The home he grew up in suffered only minor damage. He knows his relatives are the lucky ones in an impoverished nation devastated by the Jan. 12 disaster.
Sporting News - Jan. 21
The text messages jolted Vladimir Ducasse's phone last Tuesday evening. The early ones told of an earthquake back in Haiti. The later ones--You and your family are in our prayers--pushed one of the country's best collegiate offensive left tackles to action.
"I turned on the TV," he said, "and it was right there."
Boston Herald - Jan. 22
It would be understandable if Vladimir Ducasse was telling the world that football has taken a back seat in his life, that he has stopped lifting weights, stopped watching film . . . stopped preparing for what he hopes will be a long, healthy, exciting career as on offensive tackle in the NFL.
Springfield Republican - Jan. 19
Ducasse's family was spared, but the UMass football star says he still wants to help his native HaitiBy Ron Chimelis
Vladimir Ducasse has not been in Haiti for nearly eight years, but he has always wanted to help his native country.An unspeakable tragedy and his own rising profile have given the University of Massachusetts football All-American his chance.
"Everybody in my family is safe and OK. But there is a big opportunty now for me to help the nation,'' the senior offensive tackle said Tuesday.
CBS 3 Springfield - Jan. 21
Vladimir Ducasse is expected to be drafted into the NFL in the coming weeks, but all of that didn't seem to matter after his native country and his family were caught in the middle of the Haiti earthquake.
A towering 6-foot-5 and weighing in at 3-hundred-30 pounds, Vladimir Ducasse left Haiti in search of a better life. In just a few days the standout football player will take part in the Senior Bowl, a college all star game in Mobile, Alabama.
Daily Hampshire Gazette - Jan. 20
If not for his 6-foot-5, 330-pound frame, it would have been hard to tell that the man sitting behind the concourse table at the University of Massachusetts Campus Center Tuesday will almost certainly be selected in April's National Football League draft.
Springfield Republican - Jan. 18
University of Massachusetts offensive tackle Vladimir Ducasse has accepted an invitation to play in the Senior Bowl on Jan. 30, a school spokesman has confirmed.
Assistant athletic director Jason Yellin said UMass officials have been in recent contact with Ducasse's agent, but not with the player, who is a native of Haiti and has been on semester break.
New Haven Register - Jan. 16
Vladimir Ducasse was surrounded by a small group of friends and his agent, Joe Linta, at the Test (N.J.) Sports Club Wednesday morning with the television tuned to CNN as the backdrop. Helplessness filled the room for Ducasse, and by extension, for his father, stepmother and 5-year-old stepsister, still unaccounted for in the aftermath of a major earthquake that left Haiti with bone-chilling devastation.
Boston Globe - Oct. 24, 2009
One man can provide only so much protection.
As Delinois Ducasse surveyed the scene in Port-au-Prince in 2002, he was worried for his sons, 15-year-old Macarthur and 14-year-old Vladimir. Haiti was home, of course. It had always been home, but Delinois wanted a big future for his boys, and he wasn't sure they could find it there. For all the draw of family roots and natural beauty, Haiti had troubled schools and an economy that was one of the poorest in the world. Corruption was rampant. Crime was all around.
Springfield Republican - Sept. 2, 2009
His family has never seen Vladimir Ducasse play football, and remains ambivalent about his career in the sport, even as the NFL beckons. He has not been home in seven years, and he won't go back until it is safer, he says.
"Haiti is going through a lot right now, with the economy and all," said Ducasse, a University of Massachusetts senior captain and left offensive tackle. "At one time, it was calm. Now, there is almost a war going on. I don't think my father would be thrilled for me to go back." While safety concerns keep Ducasse from going home, career goals are driving him forward at UMass.