"And you have money," Boulware notes.
Wadsworth could well have pocketed some of the NFL's riches after his junior season. Although a neck injury forced him to miss two games that year, he played so well in two season-ending games against Florida (the regular-season finale and the Orange Bowl) that the NFL advisory committee told him he might be drafted in the second round. The allure of following Boulware to the NFL immediately, however, didn't match the allure of following him at Florida State. Knowing he would be moved to Boulware's slot at left end, Wadsworth wanted the spotlight that shines on a sack-happy defensive end.
After Wadsworth performed mechanically in the first 1997 fall scrimmage, though, Bowden had doubts about the switch. Are we making a mistake with [number] 85? he wrote in his notes. Gladden saw the comment and relayed the message to the player. In the next scrimmage Wadsworth had five sacks.
That was reminiscent of his first play in practice as a redshirt scout-team defensive end in '93, when he knocked starting tackle Marvin Ferrell on his rear. That season Ferrell played on a line that helped quarterback Charlie Ward win the Heisman Trophy and the Seminoles win the national championship. At most practices that starting line faced a defensive front of redshirts that featured Wadsworth and Boulware, as well as Julian Pittman and Greg Spires, both of whom are expected to be drafted. "We were a bad scout team," Boulware says. "In practice the scout team isn't supposed to go too hard, but Andre came in and tried to kill everybody."
"I was a walk-on," Wadsworth says in self-defense. "You don't want to go out there half-speed."
In the spring of '94, with a shortage of bodies inside, the Seminoles moved Wadsworth to noseguard. "Andre didn't know how to get into a three-point stance," says assistant coach Chuck Amato. "He put his knuckles instead of his fingertips on the ground." But he learned soon enough. In his first game, against Virginia in the '94 opener, Wadsworth sacked quarterback Symmion Willis, causing a fumble that set up a Florida State touchdown. By the sixth game that season, against Clemson, Wadsworth made the first of his 42 career starts.
As a sophomore he finished second on the Seminoles in tackles and made second-team All-ACC. His best season came as a senior when he had three sacks in each of Florida State's biggest conference games, against Clemson, Virginia and North Carolina.
Florida tackle Mo Collins limited Wadsworth to just two tackles in the Gators' 32-29 victory that denied Florida State a chance to play for the national championship. But in his final start as a Seminole, in the Sugar Bowl, Wadsworth had two sacks and the first interception of his career in the 31-14 defeat of Ohio State. Wadsworth benefited from some special "coaching" in that game. Boulware and Wilson were watching from the Florida State sideline, and between defensive series, Wadsworth says, "I went over to Pete and Reinard and said, 'What do I need to do now?' Pete says, 'You need to speed-rush. You haven't speed-rushed them yet.' So I speed-rushed and got a sack."
With the next phase of his life about to begin, what would Wadsworth write in another letter to himself that he would not read for five years? "I'd put in ridiculous stuff," he says. " 'Well, this is my fifth year in the Pro Bowl. Everyone's forgotten all about Bruce Smith and Reggie White.' " Wadsworth laughs. Of course, for a walk-on who became an All-America and an almost certain top-five NFL pick, ridiculous things have happened before.