Oct. 10, 2007
Passion. Excellence. Integrity. Those are just a few words that come to mind when describing Florida State offensive linemen Jacky Claude. Claude, a 6'4" 298 pound senior, enters his final season with the Seminoles as the starting left guard and steps into a leadership role he was born to play.
Having started more games than any returning player on the offensive or defensive side of the ball, Claude's teammates look to him for guidance, support and encouragement.
In 2004 Claude began trailblazing his way through the Seminole football program. Coming out of high school, he was rated a four star player by Rivals.com and the number eight rated offensive guard in the nation. During his freshman season, Claude was one of four true freshmen to play in at least nine games.
"I can remember my first game like it was yesterday" said Claude.
The Seminoles were playing North Carolina and Claude went in on field goal protection.
"I'll never forget the moment my coaches turned to me and said `Alright Jackie you're going in', that was the first time I stepped foot onto Doak Campbell to play for Florida State."
Since then Claude has been a driving force on the Seminoles' offensive line and has served as a model student-athlete for those around him. Claude attributes his drive to be motivated and successful on and off the field to his mother and family.
"My mom is a very strong lady," said Claude. "She didn't let me get into any trouble growing up. She's like a female version of (Florida State offensive line) coach Rick Trickett but not quite as tough."
Whenever Claude is faced with difficult challenges he thinks about his mom and family cheering him on back home. It inspires him to continue pushing his boundaries to become a better athlete and person.
As a seasoned veteran of the Seminoles, you won't find Claude abusing his seniority or giving the rookies a hard time in the locker room. Instead, Claude enjoys having the opportunity to lead his teammates and encourage them both on and off the field. He remembers how difficult the adjustment was from high school to college especially as a student-athlete.
"When I was starting out, I wanted a senior who would show me the ropes so I told myself that when I got older I'm going to help the freshman and give them tips," said Claude.
Claude's natural inclination to lead and motivate young players might one day bring him back to his hometown of Miami, FL where he'd like to work as a guidance counselor or teacher.
"Where I'm from," said Claude, "we don't have a lot of people we can look up to for leadership so I'd like to be able to help those kids that are in need of guidance."
When Claude steps onto the field at Doak Campbell Stadium for the last time, he can be sure that his legacy of leadership and dedication to his teammates will live on and inspire others for many years to come.
By Sarah Hansford Sports Information Student Intern