Writing a column ranking one’s favorite Seminoles football players is tougher than it seems. There are myriad criteria to consider: the team’s success, the era in which they played, personality– the list goes on. But we’ve attempted to synthesize all of this to formulate our list of favorites from the rich history of FSU football. In ascending order (drama, people), here goes:
5. Peter Warrick
I honestly don’t know if I’ve seen another college football player — on any team, ever — evade more defenders than Warrick. #9 was a lock for the Heisman Trophy in the Seminoles’ 1999 championship season, but a two-game suspension essentially defaulted the award to Ron Dayne. His highlights still stagger; many great offensive players make the defense look like they’re playing with fewer players– Warrick has the uncanny ability to escape so many that it actually looks like the defense is playing with 15, none of whom can bring him down.
4. Warrick Dunn
From one Warrick to another. I feel like Dunn has a soft spot in many Seminoles’ hearts due to the amazing circumstances that surrounded him. His mother, a police officer in Baton Rouge, was killed in January of 1993, Dunn’s first season with the ‘Noles that also brought the school its first championship. Despite taking over as head of his household, Dunn still became FSU’s all-time rushing leader, and ran track for four year at Florida State. We can still see that back protector flapping…
3. Jameis Winston
This one’s a bit tricky, since Jaboo’s career at FSU is still very much active. Leading FSU down the field in the final minute of the last BCS Championship Game against Auburn will go down as the greatest drive in team history. Detractors claimed this runaway Heisman winner hadn’t had a “Heisman moment,” a moronic jab against a player who made his team so good that they scored more points than any squad in college football history. But it turns out he was just saving it for the biggest stage. And it’s still early. His mixture of skill and charisma could see him rise to the top of this list by the time he’s finished. Another title wouldn’t hurt either.
2. Derrick Brooks
Humble yet dominant, Derrick Brooks always looked like there was another, higher league in which he should be playing– even when he went pro. Brooks’ iconic #10 remains the image of dominance that FSU’s defense has become known for since he led the ‘Noles to the 1993 title.
1. Charlie Ward
You never forget your first. And Ward brought a couple of important firsts to Tallahassee. He could throw. He could run. And he could lead. He was the first (of now three) Heisman trophy winners to don the garnet and gold, in 1993, the same year he piloted the Seminoles to their first (again, of three) national championships. Ward is the player most directly responsible for ushering in the dominance FSU displayed during the 90s. And, of course, he was also a star on the FSU basketball team
Putting this list together was incredibly difficult. I mean, come on, I excluded Deion Sanders (a bit before my time). But recollecting all the amazing players who’ve come through Tallahassee makes you realize: that’s a great problem to have.
Tags: Florida State Seminoles