Today brings us to a first in our countdown of the best Florida State football players to wear each jersey number: our first consensus All-American. And that makes the argument as to the premier 95 a pretty simple one.
Defensive end Bjoern Werner, of Berlin, Germany, who wore No. 95 from 2010 through 2012, earned those consensus All-American honors in his final season, and, obviously, was also a first-team All-ACC selection that year after garnering an Honorable Mention in 2011. Werner's name is a standard top-ten inclusion in the Seminole record book. He's tied for fourth in FSU career sacks, with 23.5, and had the season tied for sixth best in Florida State history in 2012 by bringing the opposing quarterback down 13 times. Werner is also ninth, all-time, with 35 career tackles for loss after collecting 18 during his banner year (tied for the tenth-best season among Seminoles).
Werner is the last 'Nole to notch three sacks in one game, which he did against Florida in 2012, with 3.5, and he's also the last FSU player to collect four sacks in a single contest, which he did against Murray State earlier that season. In that game, he recorded a total of five tackles for loss, a mark that has not been matched since. Werner didn't last long in the 2013 NFL Draft, as the Indianapolis Colts grabbed him in the first round with the 24th overall selection.
The only 'Nole No. 95 other than Werner to be an all-conference first-team honoree is defensive lineman Carl Simpson, who accomplished that feat in 1991. That year, he posted 11 sacks, tied for the 10th most in FSU history. A year later, he collected 9 sacks, tied for the 17th-best single-season total. That makes Simpson the only 'Nole other than Peter Boulware and Reinard Wilson to have multiple top-20 sack seasons in the history of the Florida State program. Stellar seasons like that have Simpson tied for the 10th-most sacks in school history with Anthony Moss, whom I discussed in the first installment of this series while debating the best 99s to suit up for FSU. Simpson was a 1993 second-round selection by the Chicago Bears.
The player to wear No. 95 immediately after Simpson, defensive end Julian Pittman, was also drafted, when the New Orleans Saints picked him in the fourth round in 1998. Linebacker Kamerion Wimbley, who was an ACC All-Academic honoree in 2004, continued the tradition of FSU 95s in the League when the Cleveland Browns selected him with the 13th overall pick in 2006, making him the highest drafted 95 in Florida State history.
The other 'Noles to have played with the No. 95 on their backs:
- Terry Widner (1979-1980)
- Kevin Griffis (1982-1983)
- Tim Hebron (1982-1984)
- Pat Cicalese (1985)
- Greg Rinehart (1986)
- Scott Schilbrack (1987)
- Rian Cason (1998-2001)
- Chauncey Davis (2001)
- Kevin McNeil (2006, 2008-2009)
- Keith Bryant (2013-present)
Is Werner your top 95? Or would you go in another direction?