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86 days to FSU football, and how No. 86 is a unique one for the 'Noles

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A bit of a different piece today.

rod owens with bobby

Behold: the Florida State football No. 86. It is the only number never to have had a player wearing it earn an All-America, All-conference, or ACC All-Academic honor, or be drafted into the NFL.

In reviewing the 86s of the past, the name that jumped out at me most was that of receiver Rod Owens, who wore that number from 2005-2009. Owens appears regularly in the FSU record book. In his final season as a 'Nole, Owens had as many catches (61) as Peter Warrick did in 1998, a tie for the 14th most in one season throughout Seminole history. His 199 receiving yards against North Carolina that year is the 13th highest single-game mark in school history. A good chunk of those yards came on a 98-yard touchdown reception from Christian Ponder, a play that is still tied for the longest TD catch in Florida State lore. Owens was the Seminoles' leading receiver that year, with 61 catches for 729 yards and a trio of scores.

Although he doesn't boast the same numbers as Owens, wideout Roger Overby made a massive contribution to one of the biggest games in Florida State history. When Head Coach Bobby Bowden took over in 1976, he went on record as stating that FSU "would not be turned around until [it] beat Florida." In 1977, the 'Noles did just that, breaking a nine-game Gator winning streak, the longest in series history, thanks in no small part to Overby's six catches for 124 yards and three scores in a 37-9 Seminole romp in Gainesville. It was Bowden's first win in Hogtown.

Receiver Jim Daniel was one of the first 'Noles to wear No. 86, doing so from 1958-1960, before serving as the team's leading receiver with another number in 1961. However, that wasn't exactly a banner year for the FSU passing attack. Daniel's team-leading reception stats: 10 catches for 113 yards and no touchdowns. Inversely, Michael Boulware wore No. 86 in 2000, before changing numbers and earning several accolades later in his career.

Current 86 Justin Motlow, about to begin his redshirt-sophomore season, has not yet recorded a stat at FSU, although he did contribute on special teams against Texas State and Chattanooga in 2015. However, this walk-on receiver's involvement with Florida State football is much less a quantifiable achievement than an important milestone in 'Nole history. Motlow, after all, is the first actual Seminole to have suited up in the garnet and gold.

Other FSU football players to wear No. 86:

  • Jim Arnold (1956-1957)
  • Jim Hooks (1957)
  • Cliff Gunter (1961)
  • Wallace West (1962)
  • Buddy Blankenship (1963-1965)
  • Jeff Chapman (1966)
  • Randy Hall (1969)
  • Mike Glass (1970-1971)
  • Joe Thomas (1972)
  • Tom McDougal (1973)
  • Bill Keck (1978-1979)
  • Mike Katz (1980)
  • John McLean (1980-1983)
  • Carlton Scott (1984-1985)
  • Darryl Newman (1989)
  • Eric Shaw (1989)
  • Marvin Ferrell (1990-1991)
  • Tyrant Marion (1992-1995)
  • Germaine Stringer (1997-1999)
  • Joey Kaleikini (2002-2003)
  • Chris Revell (2012)
  • Tasean Crews (2013)
  • Darvin Taylor (2015-present)

So which 86 would you take?