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March 10, 2010

Where are they now? Marvin 'Snoop' Minnis

Many football players have nicknames, but not many have the star power of "Snoop".

If you listen closely, you can still hear 80,000 strong yelling 'Snoooooooooooooooop' inside Doak Campbell Stadium. That chance was never louder than during a game in 2000 when Chris Weinke hit Marvin "Snoop" Minnis for a 98-yard touchdown strike against Clemson. It was one of the trademark plays from that year and his entire career.

"When we did it in practice I knew it would work, so when coach called it I said, touchdown," Minnis recalled. "It so happened that it was on the two-yard line. Even when it happened, I never realized I broke a Florida State record. My mom recorded all of my games and was watching the Clemson game, so I watched it with her and that play came on and it showed that it was a record, and I said: Wow! I didn't know that.

"Clemson was in the perfect defense and bit on the run, Chris Weinke did a perfect play fake to Jeff Cheney. I went down like I was going to block and the rest is history."

And Minnis changed the history books when he was at Florida State. In 2000, he led the team in receptions while being named the offensive MVP. His senior class played in three straight national championship games, arguably the best class in the history of Florida State football.

"When I look at college football now, I see how our class accomplished so much," said Minnis. "We played for three national championships straight and four out of five. We went wire to wire in '99--the first team to do that. That was so special. I was talking to Tay Cody and Tommy Polley about that the other day."

It's been 10 years since Minnis and that senior class last played a game at Florida State. And it's never been the same since.

"It's hard to believe it's been that long," he said. "I put my all into that everything when I was at Florida State. Now that I've been gone for 10 years, it's like I think about it at times because I had my daughter when I was up there and she just turned 10 years old. I said, man I've been out of school for 10 years!"

His road to Florida State is a pretty interesting one. Minnis remembers when Bobby Bowden first paid a visit to Liberty City. It was unlike any other coach visit that he had ever been a part of.

"When Coach Bowden came to the house, they were doing a MLK parade, and we just won the state championship and were doing the fundraiser for the championship rings. It was crazy," recalled Minnis. "I grew up in Liberty City, it was a very rough area and a lot of the guys with dreadlocks so when coach came through here, one of the dudes stopped him and asked him for a donation and coach gave him 10 dollars. Someone came and got me and told me Coach Bowden was at my house. There was nothing but a bunch of dudes with a bunch of dreadlocks and Coach Bowden going, what the heck is going on here? We had a lot of Hurricanes fans and they knew coach was coming so they put a huge UM flag out of my window, so when coach came, it was crazy man! I remember that like it was yesterday."

After his college playing days were complete, Minnis was drafted in the third round of the 2001 NFL Draft by the Kansas City Chiefs. His rookie year was promising with him turning in 33 catches and averaging over 15 yards per catch. But after two years, he was cut and a couple tryouts with the Tampa Bay Bucs and Miami Dolphins didn't pan out leaving him out of football and looking for work. His NFL struggles and his infamous academic issues at the Orange Bowl left Snoop with a chance to re-focus on what was important in life and get things back on track.

"I always give my all, I have no regrets about nothing," said Minnis. "I always lived in the moment and tried to be the best everyday. Everything happens for a reason, there's a reason I got a back injury and my career ended the way it did. I learned lessons about people and life and I'm a better person for it."

These days, the former 'Nole lives with his wife and three children in Miramar, Florida and he works at a Lexus dealership.

"I rarely need to introduce myself. We have a lot of football fans in Miami," he said. "Eighty percent of my customers already know who I am. They look at my name tag and see Minnis and say, are you related to Snoop Minnis and I say, that's me. And they bug out and can't believe they bought a car from me."

Minnis now has two daughters and an 11-month old son, a 'mini-Snoop' he calls him and insists that he too will wear the Garnet and Gold in about 17 years.

"My mom, she said I was always snooping around. Like my son, he's a mess he's into everything," said Minnis. "My momma said I was always into everything, that's why she gave me that name."

His back is still hurting from his NFL injuries and he still undergoes acupuncture treatments. In his spare time, he has also dabbled in coaching at Everglades high school. It was there that he got the coaching bug.

"People tell me all the time, you need to go back to Florida State and help with the recruiting," said Minnis. "That's my passion, I'm going to be a coach one day, I know it. I want to be at Florida State, I want to be nowhere else. It's going to be a dream come true, the perfect situation for me. I can help a lot of kids in a lot of ways, where I come from the inner-city, I grew up around it was hard for most people to make it out of that environment and I made it through that, I can help a lot of kids who are trying to go where I have been and help them get there. I can be a blessing to them."

Minnis says he has talked to Jimbo Fisher about the prospect of returning and plans to visit the 'Noles' new head coach in the next few weeks to talk about future opportunities. He still needs to finish nine credit hours in order to graduate, but once he does, the former Seminole wideout says he wants nothing more than to run out of the tunnel at Doak Campbell Stadium as a coach for Florida State.

"It would mean everything, Florida State is my heart," he said. "I love and have a passion for football. That would be a dream for me to be a part of his staff. It would be funny to to be there and not playing."

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