Where are they now: Tamarick Vanover

This unique feature started last week on Noledigest. Noledigest had the pleasure recently to speak with former Seminole star Tamarick Vanover. Vanover discusses his experience at FSU, the NFL, his opinion on the coaching changes, and what he is currently doing nowadays.

How was your experience at the Seminole Showtime?

TV: It was set up pretty nicely. It is the first time I have spent a lot of time there since 1993. I was there last year for a camp, but I didn't stay long. But this year I went to the week long camp as well as the Showtime. I didn't do too much coaching as I was at a camp at Crestview High with Ron Dugans before that, so I just wanted to get there and see some of the guys. There was a lot of excitement and it was a lot of fun being around the fellas again.

Did any of the players there stand out in your eyes?

TV: There is a kid named Julio Jones from Foley High School. We played them last year and we play them either the 4th or 5th week this year. I remember seeing him in warm-ups and just thinking this kid is the real deal. I told him to take a hard look at FSU. If the coaches at Alabama and Auburn do their jobs, he won't be leaving the state. But, who knows.

Can you talk about your time at FSU and playing for Bobby Bowden?

TV: Growing up in Tallahassee, it's what it is all about there. My mom went to FSU, so really it was almost a done deal before it started. Ronnie Cottrell and John Easton were really influential on recruiting me and going there. I really enjoyed my time as a Nole. Bobby Bowden, man, what can you say? The man is a Christian, and that meant a lot to me. Playing for a guy of that caliber is something I cherish.

Why did you decide on going to FSU?

TV: Well, like I said my mom went there. But living in Tallahassee all you hear about is FSU. At that time I didn't like them for that reason. I was really a Miami Hurricane fan. But you have to do what is best for you. Some of the schools tried to sell me things like playing time and all of that, but FSU was honest with me. They gave me things to shoot for. Getting a chance to apart of a team that really wanted to win a National Championship was there.

One of the most talked about plays between fans is your kickoff return against Miami. Can you talk about what you were feeling?

TV: The environment going into that game was crazy. That was my first time playing in that game. I always watched it on TV, but I was actually playing in it. During warm-ups I was so excited. I drained my self after warm-ups and before the game started. For me, Miami recruited really hard against FSU. They always talked about how many rings they had, and I didn't like that. I wanted to help FSU win. For me it was a revenge factor for me and FSU.

Can you talk about your decision on leaving early?

TV: I got some bad advice at the time on the situation. I wasn't told about how the NFL would sue me if I tried to get into the NFL. The CFL came up, so I decided to explore that option because my mind was made up. If I were talking to young kids I would tell them to stay in school because you cannot do things in life without an education. But, at the time, that was the best decision for Tamarick.

How was your NFL experience?

TV: Well, I played 5 years in Kansas City and a half-year for the Chargers. I went to the Chiefs after the year in the CFL, and I was still in that college-mind set. In Kansas City they love their football, and it was very much like a college atmosphere. I felt like I was in college there for the first couple years.

You mentioned that until recently you haven't gone back to FSU much. What's changed there?

TV: I went back there last year for a game to see Dexter, Lawrence and Jimbo. They made me feel really welcome. I plan on going to all of the home games this year and be around the program more. I have a few kids on my team who are Division-1A kids. I am not sure how hard FSU is going to recruit them, but I still plan on making it to all of the home games.

What are your impressions of the coaching changes?

TV: They brought in coaches who know how to win. Dexter, Lawrence, Coach Fisher and Trickett, they all bring leadership and know how to win games. They can teach the kids to believe in themselves. I say with-in 3 years tops; they will be back to the FSU of the 1990's. From what I saw at the camps and all, they should be better this year. They need to take the camaraderie and build on that. It is all about confidence. If they believe in themselves they can play with anyone in the country. They haven't had that until now.

Finally, what are you up to now?

TV: I am the Head Coach at Lake City Christian Academy in Lake City, FL. I have been married for 9 years and I have 3 kids, ages 10, 8 and 5. I am a family man now. I have been coaching high school kids since 2004. Before the Lake City job I was a volunteer coach at Columbia High School. I always wanted to be a coach. It is a great opportunity to teach kids to do the right thing and give back to the community. This is something I wanted to do since I was a high school kid.

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