Defensive Back Counts Education As Blessing
The Nate Andrews story
By Jeff Romance
ESPN said he was the most likely player at Florida State to end up as a football coach, and defensive back Nate Andrews couldn’t agree more.
Growing up with three brothers in Fairhope, Alabama, Andrews was a versatile athlete who spent time playing basketball, baseball and football. In middle school, baseball became his favorite sport and he even made the Fairhope varsity baseball team as an eighth-grader.
“One of the things that most people don’t know about me is that I love baseball. I actually used to hate football growing up,” Andrews said. “All the way up to my senior year I hated football and I wanted to be a baseball player.”
Andrews was a dynamic offensive football player at wide receiver and quarterback at Fairhope High School, but it wasn’t until he received his first football scholarship offer (from Florida State) that he fell in love with football.
“FSU was my first offer. I got a call from Dameyune Craig at the end of my junior year and he told me that they wanted me to play receiver for Florida State. After that, when Coach (Jeremy) Pruitt got to Florida State, he started recruiting me to play safety,” Andrews said.
Although he initially committed to Minnesota, Andrews switched his commitment to Florida State so he could be closer to home and his parents could come watch him play.
His football career began in 2013 as a safety and cornerback on the top-rated pass defense in the country. Andrews led Florida State with four interceptions and he played in all fourteen games during his freshman campaign. He capped off his first season in Garnet and Gold with four tackles in the National Championship victory over Auburn.
“It was awesome coming in as a true freshman and playing and then winning the national championship with guys like Lamarcus Joyner, Telvin Smith, Timmy Jernigan, Terrance Brooks and all of the other guys on that great defense,” Andrews said. “Those guys all took me under their wing and helped me out. That’s why I love it here at Florida State.”
Andrews played in all 41 games his first three years at Florida State. An injury limited his senior season to only four games and he received a medical redshirt. His time on the sidelines last season allowed Andrews to see the game from a coaches’ perspective and fueled his desire to be a coach after his playing days are over.
“I’ve always wanted to be a coach and I definitely want to get into that one day. My short-term goal is to graduate and to have a career in the NFL. After that I would love to be able to give back to FSU by being a football coach here,” Andrews said.
Giving back to Florida State is important to Andrews because he is so appreciative of the opportunities he has been provided.
“My scholarship has meant a lot to me … I know some people might take for granted having an athletic scholarship, but I don't, and that’s why I go one hundred percent on the football field and in the classroom,” Andrews said.
As he is busy preparing for is redshirt senior season to begin in the Chick-Fil-A Kickoff Game against Alabama on Sept. 2, Andrews is thankful for one more opportunity to represent Florida State as a student-athlete.
“I would like to say thank you to the Boosters who fund our scholarships because they are not only doing something good, but they are changing somebody's life. They are giving student-athletes like me the opportunity go to college and get a great education and play football,” Andrews said.
“At the end of the day football is going to run out, so just having the chance to get an education makes me want to thank the people who are contributing to that. It’s a real blessing.”
A FORCE IN GOAL
Senior Goalkeeper Cassie Miller wants to finish her career like it started, with a National Championship
By Jeff Romance
Cassie Miller came to Tallahassee and fell in love.
It was the summer of 2012, following her junior year of high school, when she came to Tallahassee for a soccer goalkeeping clinic and immediately fell in love with the Florida State soccer program.
"After my junior season, I had already had a good idea where I wanted to go to school, and Florida State wasn’t on my mind at all,” Miller said. “When I got on campus at the camp, I just fell in love with the program, the coaches, the players and the staff. I called my mom back in Arizona and told her this was my new home.”
Miller was so anxious to get to Tallahassee that she graduated early from Cactus Shadows High School in Cave Creek, Arizona and enrolled at FSU in January of 2013, and never looked back. Her mother also relocated to Tallahassee, and neither has been back to Arizona since.
Growing up in Arizona, Miller’s mother and brother were her role models and inspiration, and both had a great impact on her athletic career. Even though her brother Andrew is two years older, Miller would always follow along and jump in as the “tomboy” with everything he was doing.
“My brother made me the humble and disciplined person I am today because everything he does, he does for someone else and I like to show that side of me to my teammates,” Miller said. “He has been the person I have looked up to my whole life.”
Miller’s FSU career began with a redshirt during the 2013 season. As a freshman in 2014, Miller played every minute of the season in goal for the Seminoles, as the team posted a 24-1-1 record and went on to win the program’s first NCAA National Championship. Miller allowed a record-low, nine goals during the regular season and did not allow a goal in all six games of the 2014 NCAA Tournament.
“Winning the National Championship has definitely been the highlight of my collegiate career so far. When your goal is to win the championship every year and to finally accomplish that goal was so special,” Miller said.
“My favorite picture is one of us all smiling in a dog pile immediately after the championship game. That was such a great memory after all of the hard work and grit to get to that point.”
While Miller and her teammates have enjoyed great success on the pitch over the past few seasons, she is equally appreciative of the scholarship that allowed her to achieve her goals on and off the field.
“This opportunity means the world to me. It has made me a better person and a better student-athlete. I wouldn’t be at Florida State if it weren’t for my scholarship,” Miller said.
“I think about how fortunate I am every day. I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the generosity of the Boosters that give to Florida State. I want to thank all of the people who donate and support us. And one day I want to be a person who can give back to FSU to help support the dreams of future student-athletes.”
The redshirt senior goalkeeper is optimistic that her team is poised to make another run at a National Championship as it opens the season at home on August 18 against UNC Greensboro.
- Her Mother played basketball at Oklahoma State
- Brother Andrew is currently in the Army
- Spent two summers at Bull Riding Camp as a teenager
- Writes two names on her tape during games: her Grandfather Ulrich Von Dran and Monk Bonasorte
- Her personal hero is former Phoenix Suns point guard Steve Nash
- 2009 and 2010 NFL Punt, Pass &aamp; Kick Champion
- Already has her undergraduate degree in Psychology
- Currently enrolled in Juris Master Program in the College of Law
A CAREER MOVE
Senior Milica Kubura weighs her options as she prepares for her final volleyball season
An athlete, an actress, or an actuary; such is the decision for senior volleyball player Milica Kubura.
A native of Belgrade, Serbia, Kubura was a member of the Serbian National Junior Team and had played international volleyball throughout her high school career.
With an influx of Serbian players already on the volleyball team, FSU was a perfect fit for Kubura.
“I really wanted to go to a school that is very good in volleyball and academically, so I think FSU was perfect,” Kubura said. “There were a bunch of girls from Serbia that were already playing for FSU so I contacted them via email and they told me everything I needed to know about FSU.”
While there were several schools interested in Kubura as a volleyball player, she was offered an academic scholarship to Columbia University in New York. At one point she had even committed to Columbia but eventually decided on Florida State because of the athletics and academics combination.
Another decision that Kubura had to make before coming to Florida State was whether or not to pursue a career as an actress.
“I think the most interesting thing about me is how diverse I am. I love math. I love volleyball. I love theater. I know these things really don’t go together, but I really love all of them,” Kubura said. “I had to decide between theater and volleyball in high school and it was a very hard decision for me. I really wanted to be an actress, it was always a dream of mine.”
Even as she enters her senior year as an Actuarial Science major and the top outside hitter on the FSU Volleyball Team, Kubura has yet to make any decision on her career plans after Florida State.
“One day I'm convinced I'm going to go play volleyball after college and the next day I want to be an actress,” Kubura said. “I change my mind every day. As of today, I think I am going to be pursuing my actuary career.”
One thing the All-ACC Academic Team member Kubura is sure of, her future options are a direct result of the opportunities she has been provided because of her athletic scholarship to Florida State.
“My scholarship has meant everything to me. It has made my life so much better, I don’t have to worry about having money to eat or for my housing.” Kubura said. “My scholarship also gave me a chance to pursue such a great degree as Actuarial Science and still play volleyball at an elite level.”
“The Boosters who are providing the funding for our scholarships change the lives of so many athletes at FSU. What they are doing is incredibly selfless and I am so thankful for them. Getting a college degree is such a big thing to me, and a lot of us wouldn’t be able to do what we are doing if it wasn’t for their generosity.”
Kubura and her teammates are busy preparing for the upcoming season looking to improve on their Sweet Sixteen finish from 2016.
“The loss to Stanford in the Sweet Sixteen was heartbreaking. I still can’t get over that,” Kubura said. “That loss is definitely giving us motivation for this year.”
The Florida State volleyball team will begin its quest for redemption as it opens the season on August 25 in Waco, Texas against the Baylor Bears.
- Her father played professional basketball in Yugoslavia
- Can speak four languages (English, Serbian, Italian and Spanish)
- Played one season of Beach Volleyball at FSU (2016)
- Received the Chelyn & Baugh Award for being an outstanding student in the field of Mathematics
- Graduating in December 2017 with a degree in Actuarial Science
- Hopes to relocate to New York City after graduation