FSU football: 10 greatest Seminoles of the Bobby Bowden era

There have been plenty of great players that Bowden brought to Tallahassee and sent off to the NFL, but which Seminoles had the best careers at FSU from 1976 to 2009?

Florida State Seminoles v Boston College Eagles
Florida State Seminoles v Boston College Eagles / Mitchell Layton/GettyImages
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You don’t stay around as the head coach of one football program for 34 years if you aren’t a great coach, but even a great coach needs great players to amass a career record of 316-97-4 with two national championships over those 34 seasons. 

Bobby Bowden is synonymous with Florida State football, but so are these 10 legendary Seminoles that he coached. During his time in Tallahassee, Bowden coached two Heisman Trophy winners, six College Football Hall of Famers, and four NFL Hall of Famers. 

In fact, Bowden accumulated and developed so many talented players that two of the NFL Hall of Famers, Leroy Butler and Walter Jones didn’t even make the list. Now, let’s get into the 10 greatest Seminoles of the Bobby Bowden era. 

. 1994-97. 435. Andre Wadsworth. 10. player. DL. Andre Wadsworth. FSU Bowden era.

Career sacks: 23.0

Awards: Consensus All-American, 1997 ACC Player of the Year, 1997 ACC Defensive Player of the Year

Wadsworth just missed the two national championships that FSU won in the nineties, but he won his fair share of personal hardware. For three seasons, Wadsworth was a useful and consistent interior defensive lineman, but as a senior he turned into a monster.

Wadsworth had never recorded more than 2.5 sacks in any of his first three seasons, but in 1997 he broke out for 16.0 sacks from his interior defensive line position. He also finished with 19 tackles for loss and was named the ACC Player of the Year.

While he didn't have a long peak in college, Wadsworth's dominance in '97 is enough to garner a top 10 spot on this list and the No. 3 overall draft pick which the Arizona Cardinals used on him in the 1998 NFL draft. He went one spot ahead of Charles Woodson and was only selected behind Peyton Manning and Ryan Leaf. Knee injuries ended his career after just two seasons in the NFL.