Vincent DiLeo II: Humble, Versatile and Dynamic

Vincent DiLeo II is a 6-2 235-pound linebacker and running back for the Southwest Kansas Storm of the Arena Football League. 

The Journey 

Vincent DiLeo II is the son of Vincent and Tamika DiLeo. He grew up in the Germantown section of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Around the age of four, Vincent started playing football in the yard with his father and immediately fell in love with the game. He credits his father with teaching him all the basics of the game and growing his love for it. 

He was born to play both sides of the ball. Starting at a young age, he played both running back and linebacker all the way through high school. Something that would help him understand the game on both sides of the ball and that he’d use even today in the Arena League. 

Growing up, it was Adrian Peterson on the offensive side that Vincent modeled his game after with his tenacity, speed, and power. On the defensive side, it was Ray Lewis, who Vincent looked up to for his pass rush and run-stopping ability, along with his “it factor” ability to control a game. Today, DiLeo studies Fred Warner of the San Francisco 49ers more than any other player. 

Vincent starred at Bishop McDevitt, a Roman Catholic school in Lower Paxton Township, Pennsylvania. The class of 2016 graduate was an All-Catholic League honoree as a junior & senior. Compiling 1,905 career rushing yards & 22 TDs. 

From there, DiLeo would go on to play his college ball in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, at Delaware Valley University.  There, he was a key contributor to three Conference Championships and was a team captain his senior season.

DiLeo appeared in an astonishing 48 career collegiate games for the school. He finished his collegiate career with 144 total tackles, 34 tackles for loss, and 16 sacks and was a three-time All-MAC honoree. He also earned All-American/All-Region honors. 

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Battling for a Spot 

DiLeo was in the class of 2020 at Delaware Valley, an unfortunate time for a player looking to continue his journey to graduate from college. With the COVID-19 pandemic going on, DiLeo’s pro-day at the University of Delaware was canceled.

He took it upon himself to host a virtual workout. Many leagues were shut down or shuttered during the pandemic. When the Canadian Football League returned, Vincent attended some tryouts. 

After attending the HUB Football Camp, the Edmonton Elks reached out and offered him a contract. DiLeo attended camp and was a standout, but an injury sidelined him and eventually led to his release from the team. 

DiLeo took rehab and physical therapy very seriously as he journeyed back to health. Vincent then signed with the Orlando Guardians of the XFL. Unfortunately, when the XFL and USFL merged into the UFL,  this team didn’t make the cut, and DiLeo was once again looking for a spot. 

The Southwest Kansas Storm 

The Southwest Kansas Storm needed a versatile player to help fill out their team, so they contacted DiLeo’s agent. He was more than happy to sign with the team and play both sides of the football.

When the league shifted away from the Ironman rules, coach Gary Thomas asked Vincent if he still wanted to play both sides, and he jumped at the opportunity to continue playing both offense and defense.

“I’m the type of dude that just wants the team to win,” was DiLeo’s response to playing wherever he’s needed. 

When asked about transitioning from the outdoor game to the indoor arena game and what that’s been like, DiLeo’s response was simple.

“It’s still football. You’ve gotta go score. You’ve gotta catch the ball. You run, you throw, you catch, you block, and you tackle.”

He did offer up one big difference on the defensive side of things with the smaller field.

“Tackling-wise, you have to take different pursuit levels because a lot of guys in this league are looking to cut the ball back,” he explained.

Off the field, DiLeo is a gym rat. When he has free time, he’s working out. It’s not always a super heavy workout, but if he can be doing band work or stretching out, you’ll find him doing that. Religion is huge for DiLeo, and he spends time reading his Bible every day.

If he’s not working out or reading the Bible, you’ll likely find him playing video games. His favorite? Madden football, of course.

“If it’s not reading the Bible, working out, or playing a game, it’s probably not for me.” 

On the transition from Philadelphia to Dodge City, Kansas, DiLeo feels like going to an agricultural farming college helped prepare him for small-town Kansas life. He does miss Chick-fil-A, and everything being within five minutes walking distance like it was back home. 

After football, Vincent plans to stay around the game. He earned his degree in sports management at Delaware Valley and would like to get into coaching and give back to the game. Owning a gym and real estate are things that pique his interest as well. 

DiLeo said he feels like team camaraderie and cohesiveness are huge regarding the Southwest Kansas Storm’s upcoming playoff run and why the team can win ArenaBowl XXXIII.

Most of the Storm started the season with the team, and there haven’t been many changes. The brotherhood they’ve built throughout the season, along with having the right guys at each position, gives the Storm a strong chance. If they don’t make mistakes and play their brand of football, they can beat anyone.

The #5 Southwest Kansas Storm will take on the #3 Salina Liberty on Saturday, July 6th, at 4:00 p.m. ET on CBS Sports Network in the opening round of the Arena League Playoffs. A win would put the Storm up against either Billings or Albany, with a trip to ArenaBowl XXXIII on the line. 

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