The Wolfpacker

January-February 2024

The Wolfpacker: An Independent Magazine Covering NC State Sports

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Page 45 of 51

46 ■ THE WOLFPACKER FERNANDUS "SNAKE" VINSON Vinson (left) was a ball-hawking safety on several of NC State's all-time best defenses. He ranks sixth in school history with 10 career interceptions, and his 7 fumble recoveries are the most by a Wolfpack player. PHOTO COURTESY NC STATE ATHLETICS W H E R E A R E T H E Y N O W ? BY TIM PEELER uring his 15 years work- ing as a personal trainer, decorated NC State defen- sive back Fernandus Vin- son would often have deep, meaningful conversations with young clients who were willing to talk about personal issues they might be having at school, at home or among their peers. He remembers three consecutive days when high school students poured out their souls to him, and he offered better solutions than the professional counsel- ors those students were seeing at school. "I was giving them what they needed, but I didn't have all the letters after my name," Vinson said. "My time as a per- sonal trainer prepped me for it. Some of my clients had a lot of issues they were working through, and they told me I helped." In 2010, the former two-time second- team All-ACC strong safety began a journey that allowed him to become an officially licensed counselor and thera- pist. Look at his company's website today, and his name is followed by all manner of initials, commas and periods. He's a licensed clinical mental health counselor (LCMH) and is trained in eye movement desensitization and repro- cessing (EMSR). Vinson spent four years at Methodist University in Fayetteville, N.C., earning a bachelor's degree in social work in 2013. Three years later, he received a master's degree in professional counseling at Lib- erty University in Lynchburg, Va. Now, he's pursuing a doctorate in counseling and psychological studies, with an emphasis in biblical counseling, at Regent University in Virginia Beach, Va. He is on track to receive his Ph.D. in the spring of 2025. "That's not something I could have done without my wife [Larryssa] and my son [Fernandus II]," Vinson said. "I was going to school a lot, and they supported me." D A HELPING HAND He Was A Takeaway Specialist At NC State, But Now Fernandus Vinson Gives To Others Through His Counseling Work

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