Where are they Now: Terrell Buckley

Noledigest had the pleasure to speak with the former Seminole Thorpe Award Winner & NFL player about FSU, the NFL, and his future plans.

What did your FSU experience teach you as a player but, as a person also?


"I liked the overall social aspect of what college has to offer. It taught me that there are different people in the world, with different problems, and with one common goal you can unite."

How many hours did you need after you left

"I needed a lot of hours. Since I left early all of the incompletes turned into F's. I had to retake all those hours in the spring with the draft."

Where have you been taking your courses?


"Everywhere. I went to NOVA and online. Let me tell you those online courses are tough. Its all you with those classes. If you aren't disciplined then those online courses are going to eat you alive."


How many hours did you come in with?


"I think it was around 25-30. It qualifies for the internship but, I also need community service work too. There are a lot of different things I can do to keep my internship."


When do you plan on graduating?


"December 15th."


Why is education so important to you?


"I preach education to my kids. I also preach it to the kids on the team. The more knowledge you have the better off you are. Without education in this world you are going to be lost. Without a solid foundation on reading and writing what are you going to do."

What are your plans when you finish?

"I haven't made that decision yet. I have enjoyed being around here and coaching. I feel that coaching is more than playing on the field. It's about mentoring young guys on life in general.

What is your degree in?

"My degree is in sociology and a minor in political science. It was communications but, it was too many hours."


Thoughts on the program since you have been back?

"I like it. I like it. The guys always work. It bothers me when people make a comment about guys not working hard or their lack of discipline. Its common nature though when you have coaches that have the mind set that they are going to put their players in the right position to make plays. That's what I'm seeing. Everyday you are seeing a little bit of improvement. I'm excited."

Have you ever thought about getting into coaching fulltime when you were here back in the day?


"No, no you hear about the hours the coaches put in. You hear all these horror stories on the hours these guys are putting in. But now I look at it in a total different way from just coaching. It's about mentoring and helping people's lives. Perfect example is Coach Bowden. So many guys call back and come back. We used to come back for a game Coach Bowden would say "go over there, help them, and coach them." You hear about these other programs that don't even want some of their old players back. I just don't get that."


Are you focused on school now?

"Yeah that's the main focus now. Imagine you are a student athlete 17, 18, 19 years old and you are trying to learn a new place, playing against different talent, fitting in socially, and then you have to go and perform in the class room. You see how hard these guys work. I get exhausted watching them. It's all day. Then you have to take that and then school starts in week and a half. It's tough but I guess that's why the call you a student athlete instead of just being a student."

On school back in the day

"I was a good student but, I had so much other stuff going on at the time. I have a 3.5 GPA right now."


You come back and you see teammates that are coaches. What do you think of this?


"I like it. We have a receiver on the team who was committed to Florida then Coach Dawsey comes to town and the receiver comes to us. They are watching all the film and teaching them the fundamentals. I see Dexter out there with his guys. They can relate most of all. When he says ‘I've been there.' They KNOW, they look on the wall, and they see the culture the coaches built. I think it's very important to help out these guys. These guys can relate in coaching and discipline. It's going to be better. What you have seen the last couple years is a thing of the past."

When you would talk to other former players what would they say to you?

"We would talk about recruiting and why can't we get these guys. We aren't known any more as ferocious. Back then we were known as ferocious. When we stepped on the field they were always kind of intimidated. When we played a team like Miami it was respect on both sides but, we both knew it was going to be a war the whole game. Over the past few years we played with those guys. We should have beat Florida last year. Even with teams like Duke they knew they were going to get it every game."


Do you see that attitude coming back with Chuck back and Mickey?


"I think Coach Andrews is in his prime. It is unbelievable that Coach Amato is bringing it back. The defense's back with guys like Odell. I think the players are responding more when they see former plays out here. We always tell guys that when they come in here that when they break up the ball and they start clapping. In my opinion that's not something to celebrate. If that's the most your ability is going to allow you to do then alright clap it up. If your ability will allow you to get an interception and not run out of bound and try and score. Just knocking the ball down and celebrating that tells me they are a good player. I knew a lot of good players. It's important to do the little things and try and take it to the next level. Sometimes if you take it to the next level you can also take a step back; a guy gets beat, he tries something its not successful, and then they go back to what they were doing. You need something to try for."

On recruiting


"I think recruiting is getting back. We're not recruiting on size and who looks good on highlights. Look at a lot of pro teams. NFL teams say ‘He runs a good 40.' Yeah but how many plays can he make? Now you are recruiting for how many plays this guys made. I still understand the size issue but I never understood why they recruit just on size. Do you want to take the corner who is 6'0 190lbs or a 5'7 165lbs but he's making all the plays. Who do you take? I'm going to take the guy who is making the plays. You get teams who always win Miami, Philadelphia, New England, and Chicago… all those teams they don't care about size."


Do you talk to former teammates about what is going on with the program right now and keeping them filled in?


"We don't have time to call but a lot of texting. I spoke to Derrick Brooks just the other day about the program. They are all excited."


Did they give you a blueprint on coming back?


"Yeah it was a process. You have to figure out class work and schedules. It is definitely something I took time to figure out."


Do the guys pay attention to you and look at you differently because you went to the NFL, made your money, and now you're coming back to college to get your degree?

"I tell them it's not about the money. It's about doing what you love to do and helping out others. You need to try to improve yourself, parents, and when you have kids one day."


If you do get involved with coaching or player personnel would you be interested in college or NFL?


"I like to teach. Where ever I go I want to be in charge. Whether it's a head coach or a manager. I found out that especially in the NFL. I had a DB coach that used to run the defense but he had the defensive back title. He used to want to do things that would take the team from being great to dominant but we couldn't because he didn't have the title. I would like to be the guy like Coach Bowden. He is the greatest leader man, spiritual, and he lives it. One of the kids said a cuss word on the field the other day and he said ‘Timeout! Timeout! Bring it in real fast!' A guy like Tony Dungy too. One of the player's were telling me one time that coach Dungy cut him but he couldn't ever be mad because coach explained it to him and why he couldn't use him on the team.  After the conversation he just wanted to hug the guy. You just cut me but I want to hug you. I want to be a guy with class. On the other hand you have guys like Jimmy Johnson. He would just work a guy till he just ruins his career. You just don't respect guys like that. He would act like if you're under contract you have no choice, I'm going to drive you, I'm going to drive you, while Emmitt and Troy sit over there, then after three years when I release you I'm going to tell them you are all washed up."


When the passing drills get going out there do you feel like you and Coach Dawsey are going to line up again and renew your old practice rivalry?


"You can tell that when they are doing drills how much more aggressive they are. Look at the receivers and watch their run blocking. You want to talk blocking, wow man. That was taught in Alabama tough country stuff. That's the mentality that the new receivers are taking on."


Do you feel like those guys really understand what you accomplished?


"I just try to relay what I've learned through guys like Reggie White. Probably the greatest football leader I have been around. No one close. I've played with a lot of great players. He was a better leader than a player and you knew what type of player he was. Sometimes it shows. They put together a highlight tape for me and I show them the toughness. Everyone always talks about Deion being the best corner ever. Not to take away from him but, that's just an opinion. Coach Andrews never yelled at me. I always hustled, knew what I was suppose to do, and I made plays. People ask me what the key to success if for school. I tell them don't be on time to class be early. If you have a question or you're confused stay late. That's why I played in the NFL so long. I played all the games and I went to all the practices. I just work; I'm trying to get back into the same shape I was in at college."


What are your thoughts on getting back into a classroom with kids who are significantly younger than you?


"Well I've been doing that for a while now. Its interesting people come up to me and ask me about this and that. I enjoy it."


Could you finish your degree somewhere else other than Florida State or does it mean more to come back and finish it here?


"I bleed Garnet and Gold. That was really the first major decision I made as an adult was choosing a school. Like all freshmen, when I first got here I had my own problems but I got through them. I never looked back."


Why did you choose FSU over some of the other places recruiting you?


"I saw the 88? 89? Florida game. Deion was here and I saw that game with the electricity. Coach Andrews recruited me. I came to the camp and got MVP and they offered. They didn't even come and see me play my senior year. That showed me tremendous respect for my game."


Do you have any players that you are mentoring individually right now?


"There are a bunch of guys. I had receivers, QB's, whoever come talk to me. If I don't have the answer to a question, I can call any former Florida State player and he could answer it for them."


Looking back at your NFL career which organization was your favorite?


"Miami. Wayne Huizenga is a great owner. He gives his coaches the ability to do whatever they need to win."


What have you been up to recently in the community service area?


"I did a huge event in Jamaica 2 years ago for pregnant teenage moms which is a huge problem there. Shane Matthews and I throw an event in Mississippi every year that gives out scholarships to kids. I just do whatever I can."



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