Tamarick Vanover was an amazing kick and punt returner for the Kansas City Chiefs in the mid to late 90s. He played his college football at Florida State and went on to sign with the Las Vegas Posse, a CFL expansion team, before eventually being drafted in the third round of the 1995 NFL Draft by Kansas City.
From there, Vanover was opposing special teams players’ nightmare. In his rookie year in the NFL, Vanover had 1,095 yards on kick returns and two kickoffs returned for touchdowns. He also had 540 yards on punt returns with one punt returned for a touchdown. Not too shabby for a rookie.
The Chiefs were in overtime against the San Diego Chargers and Vanover took the ball 84 yards down the field on a punt return to give the Chiefs the win.
The next year, Vanover mainly handled kick returns and managed yet another kickoff returned for a touchdown with over 850 yards total. His third year he had one punt and one kickoff returned for a touchdowns.
1998 was the first time Vanover didn’t have a punt or kickoff returned for points. He bounced back in 1999 with two punts run all the way back. He was the league leader in punt return yards that year with 627, but it was his last season as a Kansas City Chief due to off the field issues.
"The football star pled guilty to a felony charge of aiding and abetting in the sale of a stolen vehicle. He agreed to cooperate with federal authorities in their investigation of drug-trafficking and stolen-vehicle rings. The Chiefs released him after the feds unsealed records showing he helped finance a marijuana trafficking ring that involved former Chiefs running back Bam Morris. – via Shonda Knight of WCTV"
It’s tough to look past his off the field actions, but there were memorable moments that the former Seminole had on the field. The most memorable moment Vanover had on the field with the Chiefs was during the season opener in 1995 (his rookie year) on Monday Night Football. The Chiefs were in overtime against the San Diego Chargers and Vanover took the ball 84 yards down the field on a punt return to give the Chiefs the win.
Those same Chargers tried to help Vanover attempt an NFL comeback in 2002, but it didn’t pan out.
Despite his actions off the field, there’s no arguing that Tamarick Vanover was one of the best special teams players in Kansas City Chiefs history, and that’s why he makes the fifth spot on this list.
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