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77 days to FSU football: The greatest No. 77s in Florida State history

The list of FSU’s best 77s is chock full of offensive-line talent.

ACC Championship - Florida State v Georgia Tech Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images

With 77 days remaining until Florida State kicks off its 2016 campaign with a Labor Day showdown against Ole Miss in Orlando, let’s take a glance at the best No. 77s in Florida State history.

The No. 77 is a packed number in FSU’s history, with eight Seminoles earning recognition and/or being drafted after wearing the 77 in Tallahassee.

We will begin our glance at Florida State’s 77s with the player who currently wears No. 77 for the ‘Noles, left tackle Roderick Johnson. Johnson, who has worn the number for each of his first two seasons at FSU and will maintain No. 77 in 2016, has already inserted himself among the greatest Seminoles to ever sport No. 77. Johnson made just five starts in his freshman season (2014) but made a impact significant enough in that brief period that he was named to four freshman All-America teams, earning first-team honors on USA Today and Athlon Sports' freshman teams and adding on second-team honors from College Football News and Campus Insiders. Johnson was not able to turn those honors into any full-fledged All-American nods in 2015 but he was named a first-team All-ACC honoree and won the Jacobs Blocking trophy in his sophomore season. Additionally, he remains a highly-touted draft prospect in the 2017 draft class, projecting as high as the first round in some experts’ projections.

Another notable No. 77 offensive lineman at Florida State is John Ionata, who wore the 77 for four years at FSU (1982-1985). Ionata was a three-time All-South Independents team member at offensive tackle, receiving second-team recognition in 1983 and 1984 before breaking through to the first team in his senior season, 1985. His senior season also warranted honorable mentions on the Associated Press and Football News’ All-America teams. Ionata capped off his career at Florida State by being drafted in the ninth round of the 1986 NFL Draft by the Dallas Cowboys.

Three more offensive tackles earned all-conference honors while wearing No. 77 at Florida State. Jesus Hernandez was a first-team All-ACC honoree in 1995, ending his four-year career at FSU on a high note. Ray Willis was an honorable mention for the 2004 All-ACC team before going in the fourth round of the 2005 draft and, most recently, Zebrie Sanders was a first-team All-ACC member in 2011 before he was taken in the fifth round of the 2012 draft.

In addition to these Seminole alumni, three additional No. 77s were drafted after finishing their careers at FSU. Tackle Bill Proctor was a 20th round selection in the 1955 edition of the draft, linebacker George Boyer was taken in the eighth round in 1956, and in 1970, offensive lineman Jeff Curchin was drafted in the sixth round.

A special off-the-field recognition goes to Eric Luallen, who wore No. 77 from 1986-1990 and has gone on to be the radio play-by-play broadcaster for Florida State baseball since 2007.

The other Seminoles to don No. 77 are:

  • Bobby Woodruff (1956)
  • John Spivey (1958-1959)
  • Jessy Odom (1960)
  • Ken Thompson (1961)
  • Bob Mangan (1962-1965)
  • Roger Minor (1969-1971)
  • David Harper (1972)
  • Harry Slagle (1973)
  • Mark Meseroll (1975, 1977)
  • Jeremy Mindlin (1978-1979)
  • Chris Nickrens (1980-1981)
  • David Roberts (1982)
  • Sean Beavor (1991)
  • Juan Laureano (1991)
  • Jeremy Brett (1996-1998)
  • Ray Willis (2000-2004)
  • Larry Levy (2012-2013)