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Kermit Whitfield breaks FSU record for career kick return yards

Whitfield became the new school record holder in career kick return yards on the opening kick of the Seminoles' bowl game against the Houston Cougars.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

On the opening kickoff of the Chick Fil-A Peach Bowl, Seminole wideout Kermit Whitfield made history when he became FSU's all-time leading kick returner, surpassing the record of 1,721 yards set by Michael Ray Garvin from 2006-2008 on a 37 yard return that puts him at  1,742 career return yards.

Entering this season, Whitfield had 1,284 kick return yards in his career, only 437 yards short of the now-former record held by Garvin. Early in the season, Whitfield seemed poised to surpass Garvin's mark with time left to spare this season, accumulating 300 return yards over the first six games of the season, leaving him just 137 from Garvin's career total entering the Georgia Tech game. However, Whitfield has had limited opportunities in the last six games, totaling just 121 yards on five returns dating back to October 24th against the Yellow Jackets.

Whitfield broke the record in the 41th game of his career, slightly behind Garvin, who set the record in 38 games. However, Whitfield did it on his 65th career kick return while it took Garvin 73 returns to get to 1,721 yards. Whitfield's career average return (26.6) is a full three yards larger than Garvin's (23.6).

Of his 65 kick returns, Whitfield's most memorable is far and away his career-long 100-yard kick return touchdown that gave Florida State the lead late in their 2013 BCS National Title Game win over the Auburn Tigers.

With Whitfield coming back for his senior season, he seems poised to become the first Seminole to surpass 2,000 career kick return yards and put some distance between himself and Garvin.