For Vincent Testaverde Jr., football has been a long and winding road.
The son of NFL great Vinny Testaverde recently signed on as the Arizona Rattlers’ new quarterback.
“I’m really excited,” he says. “I heard the atmosphere there is great at all the games. Hopefully, despite COVID, there can be a good number of fans.”
Testaverde Jr. played organized football for the first time during his junior and senior years in high school. He walked on to Texas Tech at the collegiate level and only played one game.
After one season, he transferred to his father’s alma mater, Miami. He redshirted for one season and spent a second on the practice squad. Testaverde Jr. then transferred to Albany and played well enough to earn time on the training camps for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Canadian Football League’s BC Lions.
With the Rattlers, he’s hoping to utilize his journeyman-esque experience and find success in the desert.
“Being on a bunch of different teams, having to go in and meet all new guys for the first time and link with them, that’s one of the biggest things taken away from that experience,” says Testaverde Jr.
It’s more than a change of scenery for Testaverde Jr., who is transitioning from the traditional game to the indoor game. His stop in the Valley will be his first time in Arizona.
“Being from Florida, I’m used to the heat, just not the dry heat,” he says with a laugh.
All jokes aside, Testaverde Jr. has been taking his offseason preparation seriously. Nothing is guaranteed, as he will likely compete for a starting spot against former IFL MVP Drew Powell.
“Week in and week out, I’m always working, trying to get better at what I do,” he says. “Whether it’s footwork stuff to stay quick in the pocket, throwing routes with guys, keeping my arm loose, making sure the accuracy is there, timing is there … I want to play. I didn’t sign to sit on the bench. Everyone wants to play. I’m going to go and compete, try to play, and then win as many games as possible.”
Testaverde Jr. says he believes if he builds a foundation with his teammates, he’ll succeed.
“The tighter the relationship with your teammates, the better you’ll play and the better you’ll just click on the field,” he says.
“That’s what I’m really looking forward to — going in, meeting the guys, making friends, getting to know everybody and just clicking right away.”
The Rattlers are slated to begin their season on Sunday, May 16, when they travel to Prescott Valley to take on the Northern Arizona Wranglers. The Rattlers’ home opener against the Tucson Sugar Skulls is Saturday, June 12, at Phoenix Suns Arena.