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Up Close with Tomahawk: Meet the real Max Escarpio

Introducing you to the Tomahawk Nation staff, one-by-one

Here at Tomahawk Nation, we’re lucky to have ourselves a fine group of learned people who are able to help shape, produce and elevate the content we put out here covering Florida State athletics.

It’s easy to forget sometimes that there’s a human behind the words — we’re here to fix that. Each week, we’ll be giving some insight into the people that make TN’s engine purr.

Up next, one of our young guns with boots on the ground in Tallahassee, Tomahawk Nation writer and staff member, Max Escarpio.

What was the deciding factor in your decision to attend FSU in Tallahassee?

I was always firm on the decision to stay at home for my college years. When I was in high school, I thought I was going to attend FIU in Miami.

But during my senior year of high school, I got stuck at home with the pandemic locking me in for months. I’d probably say that more than 90% of my friends were staying at FIU for college and that was a big reason I didn’t want to leave.

[Editor’s note: FIU is the only NCAA college football program located in Dade County with an ON-CAMPUS football stadium.]

About four months into quarantine, I looked into leaving for college with FSU as the No.1 contender since my sister was attending. I decided to make the move just one month before the first semester to further my career in sports journalism and meet new people.

What was it about FSU that attracted you to follow FSU football/recruiting, and the other sports, as closely as you do?

When I was deciding on what college I would like to attend I wanted to make sure that it was a quality sports school since I was going to sign a “four-year fan contract.”

It may not be the national contender it used to be, but I love covering FSU sports and recruiting because it’s helped me learn a tremendous amount of the business of college sports.

I currently write about one of the top soccer programs in the country, a competing ACC basketball program, and one of the unpredictable football teams in the nation, so there’s never a dull moment.

Who is your all-time favorite FSU football player?

Jalen Ramsey.

I used to hate Ramsey as a rival fan, but his confidence and work ethic is hard not to root for. I used to debate his NFL talent, but now I’ll stand behind any argument for Ramsey and his former teammate Derwin James.

Which Seminole highlight makes you the happiest when you watch it?

4th & 14. There’s not much to say about this game and what it meant to be on the winning side. I had my phone filled with UM fanatics talking smack for the entire week leading up to the game.

The stress and anxiety this game caused me was enough to put me in the hospital. There was no other feeling like texting and calling my friends back home. I felt like I had played 60 minutes that night.

Which was the most memorable FSU game you witnessed live, at Doak or elsewhere as a visitor?

I’ve only been to a handful of games so my memories will likely be the least exciting of the TN group.

In 2020 I went to the FSU vs. UNC football game where the Noles won by three, which was an incredible moment since the first game I ever saw in Doak was 2020’s season opener against Georgia Tech.

What is your major at FSU and what is your current occupation?

My major at FSU is currently communications and broadcasting. I write for SB Nation and other outlets, mostly about sports in the state of Florida.

What was is your favorite spot on campus as a current student?

My favorite spot on campus is the Tucker Center, covering the basketball team in the press area.

Every time I walk into the Tuck it puts a smile on my face because there’s not much I like doing more than covering the game of basketball, especially with a coach like Leonard Hamilton.

What is your favorite non-football FSU sports moment?

I was able to witness the Noles take down the Duke Blue Devils last season at the Tuck. I felt like we won the national title when the buzzer hit zero and all the fans stormed the court.

What is your favorite non-FSU sports moment?

When I first started watching sports, I followed the super-team in South Beach with Lebron, Wade, and Bosh. In 2012 and 2013 I made sure to go to as many Miami Heat games as possible since I grew up as a lifelong Lebron fanatic.

I remember where I was, what I ate, who I was with, and what I did when Ray Allen sank in that iconic three pointer in the 2013 finals.

If it couldn’t be FSU, which college team would you root for?

I grew up in Miami and lived 10 minutes away from Coral Gables. I had season tickets to that team that wore green and orange, but I won’t mention their name. If I never made the move to Tallahassee, I’d most likely still be rooting for the team down south.

Which pro teams are you a fan of, if any?

I’m a fan of the Miami Heat and the Pittsburgh Steelers. I grew up watching the dynasty Heat team and my father grew up as a fan of the “Steel Curtain,” so I adopted the Steelers as my own.

I have more training and knowledge of pro sports, so the college atmosphere was relatively new to me before I came to Florida State.

If you could’ve played for FSU, what position would you have played and what number would you have worn?

If I could’ve played for FSU, I definitely would’ve been a star receiver. Add eight inches and 80 pounds and I would’ve been a regular on SportsCenter Top Ten. I probably would’ve worn No.10 on the field.

Tell Tomahawk Nation something unique about yourself?

I’m currently in a race with my cousins to see who can visit every state in the U.S. the fastest. One of my favorite things to do is travel so I’m also planning a backpacking trip through Europe when I graduate.

I would like to thank Max for his contributions to Tomahawk Nation and for sharing his FSU experiences with the Tomahawk Nation Community.

Please follow Max on Twitter @maxescarpio

Please check out these other previously published Up close with the Tomahawk staff.