Where Are They Now: Nick Maddox

Where Are They Now is a feature article that originated on NoleDigest. This week we bring back the feature as we caught up with former Seminole running back Nick Maddox. Nick talked about why he became a Seminole coming out of high school, and about how he enjoys the work he is doing now.

Nick Maddox came to Florida State while they were at the end of their 14 year dynasty run. For Nick the honor of playing for one of the most legendary coaches in Bobby Bowden was a huge honor, and he says what he learned from coach from his time there helped transform him into the man he is today. He enjoyed his time so much at FSU, he decided to come back and work as a fundraiser for the athletic department. "Right now I work with the boosters, fundraising for the school. I started doing it June 18th last year. My old running back coach Billy Sexton got me into it. I told him I was looking into getting into something like this, and he set me up with Andy and it went from there. I try to focus on athletes and make sure the environment is where it needs to be. I've gotten good feedback from former athletes and it's going very well for me."

Coming out of high school Nick Maddox was one of the most heavily recruited running backs in the nation. His senior season he totaled 2,536 yards and 33 touchdowns on 267 carries (9.5 yards per carry), and had 20 catches for 268 yards and eight scores. He showed his explosiveness as he added four punt returns for touchdowns of 50 yards or more Nick finished his career with 6,624 rushing yards and 114 touchdowns (a state record at the time), and earned such honors as Parade All-American and first-team USA Today All-USA selection. Tom Lemming ranked Nick as the number 2 prospect in the nation his senior season and SuperPrep ranked him 14th overall. According to Nick, he thought he was going to another southeastern power before he pledged for FSU.

"I wanted to win. At the time Florida State was THE program, as they were in the midst of the 14 year run. I chose them over North Carolina, Florida, Texas and Georgia. I actually thought that I was going to go to Georgia, but after I took my visit to FSU I knew where I was going. A few things turned my head towards them. I loved the family environment that Bobby Bowden made. That was the most impressive thing about the school. It went far beyond on the field with the players. Whether it was working out, in the classroom or whatever, we were all a family. FSU was just the total package. Recruiting was terrific. Some people back home were upset that I didn't stay home, and some people think that I made the wrong decision. I caught some flack, but going to Florida State was the best decision of my life."

Maddox during his playing days at FSU

Like many former Florida State players, Nick speaks highly of Bobby Bowden. He feels that playing for him was an honor, and he cherishes that he is one of the few that got a chance to see him in his prime.

"It was awesome playing for Coach Bowden. Playing for him is like someone playing for Bear Bryant or John Wooden; he is on that level. To think he has been coaching for 55 years is amazing to me. He has been a football coach longer than some people get on this earth. He is a living legend. To me it goes further than the wins. He satisfied so many people with how he developed the family environment. The program was a group of brothers and no other school could match that. Coach helped turn so many kids into men."

Coming into Florida State, fans expected Maddox to be a big time playmaker for the Noles. While his career didn't pan out that way, Nick is very appreciative of the chance to be apart of history.

"There were ways I could have contributed more, but all that taught me the value of things off of the field. If I hadn't of gone to FSU I wouldn't have the connections or the education that I have. Sure, I could have gone to a school like Carolina and gotten more opportunities on the field, but I wouldn't have learned about life."

"I also got to be apart of the dynasty era. No other school will match that. I don't think it's ever going to happen again. I got a chance to be on the 1999 team that went wire-to-wire, and I got to play with college legends like Peter Warrick and Chris Weinke. Like I said before, I came to FSU to win, and I did that. I played in two national championship teams, winning one, and we won the ACC every year I was there. If I was a guy who wanted the personal accolades like the Heisman Trophy I'd probably be more disappointed, but I was always a team guy."

Working as a fundraiser for the school allows Nick the privilege to follow the team he loves in the Seminoles. He says that even though the team is a bit down now, he feels that they will get things turned around.

"The team right now is growing. There is stability there naming Jimbo Fisher as the head coach in waiting. I like that because it will allow Coach Bowden to break away the way he should be able to. I think they'll get things turned around. They've had some strong recruiting classes, so one more of those, combined with the new coaches; they'll get back to where we started. I think it'll take a couple years, but there is enough talent there this year to crack the surface."

After playing a few years in the NFL with San Diego, Buffalo, Carolina and Cleveland, Nick feels he may have found his calling. At 27 years old, he feels like he is just starting his career, but he has a pretty good idea of where he wants to head.

"You never know where life is going to take you. My passion is with FSU. I'm 27 years old, and I just want to continue to grow. I want to do my best with this fundraising stuff. I'd love to stay at FSU as long as I can, but I don't know where all of this is going to take me. I thought about getting into coaching or working in the administration, but as long as I am a Seminole at the end of it I will be happy with that."

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