Sept. 27, 2004
On Christmas Eve 1997, Andre Wadsworth received a letter at his mother’s home in Miami. It was a letter that Andre had written five years earlier in high school English class addressing his goals. The three-page letter talked of college and getting his undergraduate and graduate degrees in finance, but it had only one sentence about football – that he would be playing his final game in two days. The 6-2, 217-pound Wadsworth could never have predicted what the future held.
He didn’t attract much attention, maybe because he was from a small Class A school called Florida Christian or maybe because of his size. But FSU coach Chuck Amato saw what he called a diamond in the rough. He invited Wadsworth to walk-on after finding out he had not received any Division I scholarship offers.
Andre’s next step was to the weight room. Benching a mere 250 pounds, Wadsworth made a commitment to himself and to his team to improve his mental and physical strength.
After a redshirt season, No.85 went on to become one of the greatest pass rushers in FSU and college football history. He was a finalist for the Lombardi Award, ACC Player of the Year, ACC Defensive Player of the Year and All-ACC first team. The All-American was the recipient of the $10,000 Burger King College Football Scholarship in 1997 and led the ACC with 16 sacks his senior season. He was named the CBS SportsLine Defensive Player of the Year, Defensive Linemen of the Year from the Touchdown Club of Columbus, an Outland Trophy finalist and one of the 30 Greatest ACC Players by College Football News.
Andre received his degree in business after his junior season and began his graduate work in sports administration while playing his last year at FSU. In the spring of 1998, the Arizona Cardinals made Andre the number three overall pick, making him the highest FSU player to go in the NFL Draft.
Wadsworth spent three seasons with Arizona and enjoyed a successful, but injury-plagued career. He had four knee surgeries in just 15 months between November 1999 and January 2001.
In January 1999 he met the soon-to-be love of his life, Subyn Phillips at church. In March 2000, Andre and Subyn married and they now have a beautiful daughter, Sophia. Andre is co-owner of several BMW, VW and Porsche dealerships and owns Whataburger restaurants throughout Florida while residing in Phoenix with his family.