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Tallahassee cousins represent hometown, family at Orange Bowl

The Orange Bowl is Saturday night at 8:00
Posted at 9:33 PM, Jan 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-01 21:33:06-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — 2020 is in the books, and in less than two weeks, so will the college football season. For former Tallahassee standouts Tarian Lee and Kamari Morales, their seasons end Saturday at the Orange Bowl when Texas A&M and North Carolina play each other. It's an exciting time for them, but also for those around them.

Lee, a linebacker, played high school football at Godby, and Morales, a tight end who attended Lincoln, were two of the Big Bend's top recruits in the Class of 2019.

They were recruits that went to different programs in different conferences but now will cap off their redshirt freshman campaigns against each other.

"It's very exciting to see both of our kids living out their dreams as well as being able to compete against one another in something as large as the Orange Bowl," said Nave Vickers, Lee's Mom.

The former Leon County stand-outs will face off Saturday night, and there's a little extra motivation to win, they're cousins.

"I don't think they're trash-talking right now," said Jackie Morales, Morales' mom. "I think they're more focused on the game."

"Getting ready and making sure they show what they got," agreed dad Alan.

It's a chance to shine in front of each other, and to represent their hometowns.

"They go back to the high schools and they talk and it's sort of an inspiration and a motivation," added Alan Morales. "They get to mentor and talk to people."

"We're definitely hoping that it is the inspiration to the city and to the younger kids looking at them and showing them that, hey, if we stick to the task and stick to the course, we can do this as well," said Vickers.

They are an inspiration for their peers and a source of pride for their family.

"It's still unbelievable that our babies and seeing them and knowing this is their dream and their passion and they're actually doing it and doing it at D1 schools is exciting," said Vickers. "You can't even explain."

"We're going to win regardless," added Jackie Morales. "It's family, we love each other, and family is more important than anything."

That's a victory anyone can get behind. The Orange Bowl kicks off Saturday night at 8:00 in Miami.