The Daily Nole

Mavety Holds Hope for Return, Prepares for Life After Football

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Had things happened differently, former Florida State offensive lineman Chad Mavety might be preparing for the NFL Draft right now. It’s also possible that he might not be here today.

In March 2016, Mavety made it public that he would be forced to miss spring practice with a cardiac issue. Five months later, Mavety announced that his career was over.

A versatile lineman with the ability to play inside at guard or outside at tackle, Mavety started eight games for FSU as a junior in 2015. Mavety, a junior college transfer and New Jersey native, was set to compete for time along the offensive front as a senior.


“I was really optimistic for a while,” Mavety said. “When I found out, it was like a freak accident in a way. The first time I went to the doctor was when we were having bowl practices when we were about to go to the Peach Bowl.”

Florida State’s appearance in Atlanta for the 2015 Peach Bowl was a reward for another 10-win regular season that had been capped with a 27-2 road victory over rival Florida. Little did Mavety know that the rivalry win over Florida would be the final game he would ever play for FSU.

Mavety missed the Peach Bowl before learning it was enlarged muscles in his heart that would suspend football activities for him. Hoping the football halt was temporary, Mavety was put on a regiment that limited his movement. Mavety remained optimistic about returning to the field and helping his team compete for championships in 2016. On a trip to Cleveland to see a specialist, Mavety learned that was no longer an option.

“It was just complete silence,” Mavety said. “Nobody expected that to happen. My first thought was can I play again, do I have a chance to play again? I had big plans. The first thing was that I had to find another way to make money.

“It was just losing football, the competition, and the camaraderie of being in the locker room with my brothers, it was all over,” he said. “It was tough, very, very tough.”

During an August press conference prior to the start of fall camp, FSU head coach Jimbo Fisher addressed the loss of Mavety.

“Chad was a great young man,” Fisher said. “If that was one of my two sons…what would I have his coach do with him? That’s how I make 99.9 percent of my decisions is how I would treat him if he was my son. I’m sad we don’t have him – one for his dreams and two, because he was a heck of a football player. He’s a great kid.”


For Mavety, the difficulty in dealing with the likely career-ending injury lingered over into the regular season. Mavety could only watch as his former teammates took the field. Mavety had also already graduated with a degree in social science, so he was no longer living in Tallahassee.

“I would go to practice and be around the facilities, so it was like I was playing, but I didn’t live in Tallahassee anymore,” Mavety said. “I talked to my teammates every day. They were crushed that I couldn’t be there.”

Without Mavety, an offensive front that was supposed to be a strength for Florida State in 2016 struggled early on. After playing five different combinations up front in 2015, that contingent played seven different starting units this past season.

“After every game, I would always text the starting O-line and tell them what they did right and what they did wrong and try to give them pointers,” Mavety said. “With Alec (Eberle) and Kareem (Are) and Big Rod (Johnson), I would try to just stay in contact. There were a bunch of people I stayed in contact with and spoke to often.”

With an offensive line that saw so many changes, Mavety felt like he could have been a constant either at guard or tackle. Along the front for FSU in 2016, only Johnson and Eberle started every game.

“I had the potential to be a starter every game throughout the season,” Mavety said. “When I went down, I didn’t know who the rotation was going to be, but I knew they had to play well. When something bad happened or someone went down, I was like ‘dang, it’s my fault’.”

As the season went on however, Mavety found comfort in the unit’s improvement. With the promising, young Landon Dickerson out, players like guard Cole Minshew and tackle and converted defensive end Rick Leonard slowly came into their own. Thanks partially to progress up front, FSU capped the 2016 season with five straight victories, including a thrilling 33-32 win over Michigan in the Orange Bowl.

“In the beginning, it was tough, but at the end, it made me feel better,” Mavety said. “I knew they would eventually get it together.”


Although the prospect is bleak, Mavety hasn’t ruled out an eventual return to football if doctors clear him. Assuming that doesn’t happen, Mavety said he’d consider getting back into football through coaching or another avenue.

“I’m pretty good when it comes down to technique and conversing with kids and getting them to learn,” Mavety said. “All kids learn differently, so I’m pretty good at adapting.”

Mavety said he doesn’t see himself ever recruiting at the high levels of college football, but could give back locally with helping high school students learn technique or blocking assignments.

“I’d do high school. I could do college, I could definitely do it, but I don’t know if I would be into the business of college football,” he said. “A typical recruiter, that’s just not me. I’d prefer just to help the kids for the future.”

Football possibly being a thing of the past doesn’t mean that Mavety doesn’t have big plans. Mavety has launched his own real estate investment business that seeks to renovate houses and flip them for a profit.

“That’s where my passion is,” he said. “I’m really starting to focus on my business.”


Since the announcement that his FSU career was over last summer, Mavety said he’s tried just to relax, hoping the condition eventually fixes itself. In addition to being a 6-5, 335-pound offensive lineman that can play either guard or tackle, Mavety is the father of a 3-year-old son, Jaydin. He and his girlfriend, Alexa, currently raise their child in Clermont.

“I took a year off to rest and maybe eventually get back to ball,” he said. “It’s a lot of a family, a lot of fishing and a lot of golfing. If I can get back in, I can play. I just got to get cleared.”


While Mavety would have certainly preferred to spend the past year opening up holes for Dalvin Cook or providing pass protection for Deondre Francois in front of about 80,000 people, Mavety recognizes that doctors not recognizing his condition could have meant his life.

“If it didn’t happen, I might not be able to experience life with my son and my family,” Mavety said. “I love football; I played to the last whistle and with every bone in my body, but you got to be smart. You got to understand that things happen for a reason. Maybe it saved my life.”


One thing that makes the career-ending injury so difficult for Mavety is that wasn’t one that affected his ability to perform on the field. Mavety feels that if given the opportunity today, he could still go out and play at a high level.

“Still to this day, Kareem and Rod think I’m going to come back and play,” Mavety said. “I think the toughest part about it is that it’s not like I lost a leg. I could go out there and compete 1-on-1 with some of the best in the country. I have to understand that I have a family and I can’t make dumb decisions.”

During his time at Florida State, Mavety was part of two teams that reached New Year’s Six bowls, including the first-ever College Football Playoff in 2014. In addition to being part of the 2014 ACC title team, Mavety went a combined 4-0 against rivals Miami and Florida in his career. When he looks back on his playing days however, Mavety said the triumphs on the field won’t be his biggest takeaway.

“The biggest takeaway would be the overall experience,” Mavety said. “I got to suit up for Florida State University. Just being able to say that is an honor. The camaraderie with my teammates, just being able to hang out with them every day and to all be working toward the same goal and to all have the same passion. I loved going out there and playing.”

Only time well tell whether Mavety ever gets a chance to play football again at any level. The heart condition ended his FSU career and greatly hindered his chances to get on the field as a player in any fashion. When others look back however, Mavety hopes that won’t be his lasting legacy.

“I hope I’m not remembered for my heart issue, but for being a pretty good football player and being able to step in at any position and being somebody my teammates could count on,” he said. “I just want to say thank you to all the fans, coaches and teammates who supported me. If I could, I’d be out there suiting up for the draft, but everything happens for a reason and you can’t dwell on it.”

Mike Ferguson is the editor of The Daily Nole. Follow Mike on Twitter @MikeWFerguson

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