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
8 of 10

1997-2000. Chris Weinke. Chris Weinke. . QB. 3. player. 435. FSU Bowden Era.

Career passing yards: 9,839

Career passing TDs: 79

Awards: College Football Hall of Fame inductee, 2000 Heisman Trophy, 2000 ACC Player of the Year, 2000 ACC Offensive Player of the Year

Florida State's all-time leading passer had an interesting path to FSU. Weinke committed to play for Bobby Bowden at Florida State in 1990 but opted for a baseball career instead. He spent six years in the Toronto Blue Jays minor league system but returned to FSU as a 25-year-old freshman in 1997.

Weinke did not play much in '97, but took over as Bowden's starting quarterback in 1998 and was the only three-year starting QB throughout the Bowden era. In 1998, he only completed 50.7% of his passes for 2,487 yards, but in 1999 he led FSU to a national championship.

During the 1999 season, Weinke threw for 3,103 yards and 25 touchdowns, but there was still another level to his game. Weinke tapped into his potential as a 28-year-old college senior and won the Heisman Trophy with 4,167 passing yards and 33 touchdowns.

Across his three years as the starting quarterback, FSU went 34-4 with a national championship win in the Sugar Bowl over Virginia Tech. Weinke went in the fourth round of the NFL draft.