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FAMU All-American kicker Chase Varnadore.
Courtesy: Florida A&M Sports Information
FAMU All-American kicker Chase Varnadore.
Chase Varnadore Selected to SBN All-American Team
Release: Tuesday 01/24/2013 (ET)
by Florida A&M Sports Information
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TALLAHASSEE, FL (Jan.24) - FAMU place kicker Chase Varnadore has been named to the 2012 American Urban Radio Networks SBN Black College All-American team. Varnadore, a redshirt-sophomore from Tallahassee, FL (FSU High), made 15-of-18 field goals on the season and 23-26 PATs, leading the team in scoring with 68 points. Varnadore, who made first team All-MEAC as well this past season, had a solid season for the Rattlers, often softening the blow the of team's struggles in the red zone. Int he second game of the season, he nailed field goals of 41 and 46 yards against the Oklahoma Sooners in Norman, OK. They were the first points scored against the Sooners by an FCS school in 2012.

He was ecstatic to learn of the honor, joining an elite fraternity of FAMU kickers. "It caps off the year on a good note. It gives me more motivation to perform next year. Hopefully I can repeat this and it's not a one time accomplishment," Varnadore said. He joins Jimmy Vertuno (1988), Juan Toro (1997,1998), Juan Vasquez (2000,2002) and Wesley Taylor (2005) as All-American kickers. In FAMU's rich history of over a century of football, it wasn't until Vertuno's accuracy was recognized in 1988, that FAMU had it's first All-American placekicker.

Varnadore, ironically, is coached by Vasquez. His coaching style has often been compared to that of his coach Tony Messina, who is a FAMU football Hall of Famer. Vasquez also coached Taylor, and isn't surprised at the honor for Varnadore. "Chase is the hardest working kicker I've had the pleasure of coaching. I've coached some very talented kickers here at FAMU and he is the hardest worker of them all. He made up in his mind when he got to FAMU that he was going to be the best he could be," Vasquez said.

The modest Varnadore was caught completely by surprise when assistant sports information director Ronnie Johnson broke the news to him. "You couldn't have asked me two weeks ago and I been able to honestly tell you I was an SBN All-American. It's a great accomplishment to be a part of such an elite group here at Florida A&M. We've had a lot of great players come through here and now my name can join the list," Varnadore added.

Vasquez became emotional for a moment, recanting his whole reason for coaching. "When I started playing, I decided I wanted to be a coach because of the way Messina coached me. Everything I've taught has been based on what he taught me. It's a pleasure to be able to be called an All-American because Messina made several of his athletes All-American, including our SID (Vaughn Wilson). It just feels so good. I've always tried to mimic what Messina did and Chase's success is a testament to his teachings," Vasquez said.

The 2013 edition of the Rattlers began off-season conditioning this week under new head coach Earl Holmes. Holmes has publicly stated that his confidence in Varnadore is a tremendous asset to the team. "When you have a guy like Chase whose number you can call at anytime, it's a good feeling as a coach. You want to get six when you get in the red zone, but if not, you want to be sure you can at least come away with three. We almost wore him out on homecoming, as he put five through the uprights, and we needed every one of them," Holmes said.


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