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82 days to FSU football: Who are the best 'Noles to wear No. 82?

Some sneaky-good numbers from an unsung frontrunner.

Florida State v North Carolina State
Taiwan Easterling
Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

The countdown to Florida State's season-opening kickoff in Orlando continues, and with it, our series chronicling the top Seminoles to wear each uniform number at FSU. Today we look at the No. 82, a jersey without a ton of overt star power for the 'Noles. But one Seminole leads the way.

Initiating the discussion is receiver Rhett Dawson, a Florida State 82 from 1968-1971. Dawson's best years in Tallahassee were '70 and '71: he was a first-team All-South Independent selection each year, and for good reason, as he led the FSU WRs in both of those seasons. In 1970, he made 54 catches (4.91 RPG, tied for the 17th-highest in an FSU season) for 946 yards, the latter of which is also the 17th-highest total in a single Florida State season, and five touchdowns.

In his senior season, Dawson pulled in 62 balls, tied for the 12th-best year in 'Nole history, while notching 817 yards and seven scores. That year, he averaged 5.64 catches per contest, the 11th-best single-season average for the garnet and gold; that's better than Peter Warrick's 1998 and Rashad Greene's 2013. Those numbers earned him third-team All-American honors from the AP. Dawson assumed his spot in the FSU Football Hall of Fame in 2006.

Only eight 'Noles have more career 100-yard receiving games than Dawson, whose seven are as many as Fred Biletnikoff, Andre Cooper, Snoop Minnis, and Javon Walker. His 128 receptions are tied for 13th in FSU history with current WR coach Lawrence Dawsey, and his 1,915 total receiving yards are 15th-highest in the Florida State record books. Dawson was a 10th-round pick of the Houston Oilers in the 1972 NFL Draft.

The only other 'Nole known primarily for wearing No. 82 to be drafted was wideout Lane Fenner, who sported that number immediately before Dawson, from 1966-1967. He was a seventh-round pick of the San Diego Chargers in 1968.

Also worth noting at No. 82 is receiver Taiwan Easterling. Although he's mostly remembered for wearing No. 8 and playing baseball, Easterling got his football career off to a solid start in 2008 wearing No. 82, when he posted 30 catches for 322 yards and a TD. He finished with the 20th-most catches in 'Nole history, at 108.

The other FSU 82s, with ACC champs in italics and national title winners (wearing No. 82) gaining an asterisk:

  • Bob Nellums (1956)
  • Bill Jacobs (1957)
  • John Slaton (1958-1959)
  • George Tillman (1960-1961)
  • Jim Causey (1962-1963)
  • Wayne McDuffie (1964)
  • Jack Fenwick (1965)
  • Mike Allen (1972-1974)
  • Keith Tuten (1975)
  • Keith Singletary (1976)
  • Tony Johnson (1980-1983)
  • Randy White (1984-1987)
  • Brad Lundstrom (1988-1991)
  • Terry Davis (1993-1994)*
  • Jason Floyd (1996-1997)
  • Pooh Bear Williams (1997)
  • Alvin Morrow (1997)
  • Patrick Hughes (1998-2002)*
  • Patrick Harrington (2005)
  • D.J. Norris (2006)
  • John Frady (2007)
  • Willie Haulstead (2009-2012)

So. Who's your top 82?