MARSHALL, Minn. — From the couch in his living room, Carlton Lance leaned forward, elbows dug into thighs, before he pointed to the spot a few feet away where he’d taught his oldest son how to deal with defensive players trying to tackle him around his legs.

Carlton, a still-fit former college and pro cornerback who grew up in Queens, N.Y., and went to high school in Fort Myers, Fla., radiated East Coast intensity while recalling how he instructed Trey to lower the boom by lowering his shoulder.

“I would always tell him, ‘This guy is trying to hit you, so you’ve got to have some malice in your heart,’” Lance said. “‘You are trying to end his function.’”

Sitting to his right, his wife, Angie, was more relaxed as their 5-year-old Maltipoo, Niner, snoozed in her lap. Angie was born and raised in Marshall, a charming, isolated prairie town of 13,651 dotted with 22 churches. Her consistent message to their son is a reminder that lowering the boom is not his higher calling.

A portrait of Trey Lance's parents, Angie and Carlton Lance, at their home in Marshall, Minn., on Tuesday, May 11, 2021.

A portrait of Trey Lance’s parents, Angie and Carlton Lance, at their home in Marshall, Minn., on Tuesday, May 11, 2021.

Jenn Ackerman / Special to The Chronicle

“At the end of the day, when you lay your head on the pillow, if you walked around the facility, and didn’t build relationships, and didn’t get to know people and didn’t use your platform in a way that makes a difference in the world, then you’re just a football player,” Angie said. “And I just don’t think that is what God intended for any of us. I think we’re here to do so much more than what our job is.”

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