Where are they Now: James Colzie

Noledigest had the pleasure recently to speak with former Seminole player & coach James Colzie. Colzie discusses his experience at FSU both as a player and coach, the current FSU cornerbacks, & his thoughts on the program.

Where are you coaching now?


JC: I am at Valdosta State University. I am the defensive backs coach and special team's coordinator. I was hired here in February by Davis Dean, who I had met on numerous occasions. We have 10 players coming back on both sides of the ball, so people around here are talking about championships. We are ranked pretty highly. I am at a place where I am supposed to win, and that's what I want. I don't know how long I will be here, but I am happy with my job.


Can you talk about your time as Grad Assistant at FSU?


JC: Well you know I was there from 2004-2007. I got a chance to go back to my alma mater, and I got a chance to coach a position, which is something most Grad Assistants don't get a chance to do. I couldn't have asked for a better place to coach.


You played under Mickey Andrews and coached next to him. How was that?


JC: He was the same guy. He was real intense. He still wants perfection. I didn't get a lot of room for error when I played for him, and I damn sure didn't get any when I coached. I learned a lot playing for him, and I learned a lot as a coach.


Can you talk about your time as a player at FSU?


JC: I got a chance to be on the 1993 championship team. I got a chance to contribute to that team as I played as a true freshman. I played in every game that year. I started my junior and senior years and got to play with guys like Samari Rolle. We were very successful and we won a lot of games when I was there. We won a lot of rings too (laughs); like 10 of them. I couldn't have asked for better coaches to play for or a better opportunity then what I had. I wouldn't trade that for the world.


How did you end up at FSU?


JC: Well Coach Mike Martin told me I could play baseball. I wanted to play baseball and football in college. I visited Ohio State, but they wanted me to play only one sport. Stanford offered me as a basketball player. I took a visit there. They wanted me to commit to them when I was there, but I told them I wanted to weigh my options. A week later Brevin Knight committed to them. Georgia, Iowa and Florida State were the only school that told me I could play baseball and football. FSU was cornerback "U" then, and it still is. Coach Martin and Coach Bowden are two of the best. I committed in December of my senior year, which was early back then.


Can you talk about the corners on the current roster at FSU?


JC: They are going to be extremely successful this year. They have been through the wars these past couple years. They went to battle and made it through. Tony Carter, Michael Ray Garvin, Patrick Robinson and Jamie Robinson are going to be stars. That's one reason why I wish I could have stuck around and watched them play, and to be there for the fruits of the labor. Tony is going to be the next All-American, especially if he stops returning punts. Last year he missed 4 games, and we went 1-3 during that span. This is something that I tell Tony all the time. I know it is kind of the forte of FSU; All-American corners return punts. I talk to him on a regular basis and I tell him he means more to the team as a corner than a return man. That roster has playmakers up and down it, but it has few shut-down corners. All four of those guys are going to be playing on Sundays. Patrick and Jamie both have the prototypical speed at 4.4 and are both 6 feet tall. Tony and Garvin are smaller guys but they are physical. Any 4 year starter that plays at FSU will be a pro, and that's what Tony will be. Garvin is damn near the fastest kid in America.


What are your expectations of the defense this year?


JC: I have been around the game for a while. Wherever there is an All-American corner there is an All-American defensive end right there. You got to get pressure on the quarterback. If you cannot get pressure it doesn't matter who is back there covering. Coach Andrews is going to get the best out of these guys this year. Hopefully the defense is put in better positions than they have been. Looking back at last year, there were times when we should have gotten off of the field, but we didn't. There are a lot of guys there that have been around and been through battle: Fluellen, Tony and Myron Rolle, who plays like he's been there for 5 years. These guys have been on the other side, now they are looking to get back to the other.


Can you discuss your thoughts on the offensive coaching changes?


JC: They got some of the best guys in the business to come in. With the improvements comes pressure. With Coach Fisher he is a guy who knows how to put guys in the right position and in a place to get it done. If the offense is going well, the defense is going well. Also, Fisher had kids that were first round picks. Those kids were not first round material when they first got to college, so he has proven that he can get it done. Guys like Dawsey and Trickett; it just doesn't get much better.


What is your opinion of Terrell Buckley coming in to coach the corners?


JC: It's definitely a plus. He has been in a few big games in his career. It is going to be a benefit as he knows the game and he has been around. The players will be fools if they don't listen to what he has to say. It is a positive addition to the staff.


Would you like to come back to FSU as a coach down the road?


JC: You get into this business to stay in places for a long time. I hate moving. I left a position at Florida International to become a Grad Assistant. I was apart of the team that started the program at FIU. So, that says something. I like where I am at right now, so anyone else other than Florida State I would have to pass and sit here for a while.


How was it being apart of Bowden's first championship team?


JC: We were the preseason number 1 team. The freshman class that came in was great and highly ranked. The only negative from that team was we couldn't get the job done against Notre Dame. It is something I will never forget and I was excited to be apart of that team.


What did you do after college?


JC: I was signed as a free agent with the Bucs. I just wanted an opportunity and I got it with them. That was great, but I decided to go play baseball. I was drafted by the Montreal Expos in high school and they held onto my rights. So whenever I was done with football I could play baseball. I quit that because the bus trips were too much for me. I was tired of them. They were killing me. I wanted to always be a college coach, so I went back home and became a teacher and just worked until it came true.


Do you stay in contact with any other players?


JC: I stay in contact with the corners on the team still. I want to make sure they are keeping up on their class work and just talk football. I speak to Warrick Dunn on a regular basis. We talk about personal stuff and business, like families and whatnot. I speak to some other players from my college year also.

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