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76 days to FSU football: NFL HOFer leads those to wear No. 76 at Florida State

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An FSU — and NFL — legend tops the list.

Walter Jones

We continue our countdown through Seminole history and toward opening day this morning with a first, as today’s installment features the first NFL Hall of Fame inductee to be discussed in this series.

And that would be offensive tackle Walter Jones. Jones was at Florida State for just a couple of seasons after transferring in from a community college, but in that time he laid the groundwork for what would wind up being one of the greatest football careers in ‘Nole history.

But of course, that all began in Tallahassee, where, in 1996, Jones was a second-team AP All-American, while also garnering second-team All-ACC honors. The following year, the Seattle Seahawks grabbed him with the sixth pick in the NFL Draft, and Jones was an NFL All-Rookie honoree. He played a dozen years in the Pacific Northwest, earning nine Pro Bowl selections prior to his 2014 induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Still, Jones is far from the only FSU great to sport the No. 76. Another player who makes a case is defensive tackle Alphonso Carreker, who earned postseason accolades for two years with the ‘Noles before also becoming a first-round draft pick. He was an Honorable Mention All-American in 1982 and 1983, and a third-team Football News All-American in ‘83. And Carreker was a first-team All-South Independent selection in both of those years ahead of being taken by the Green Bay Packers with the 1984 NFL Draft’s 12th pick. Like Jones, Carreker also secured NFL All-Rookie honors in his first pro season. In 1990, Carreker became the only FSU No. 76 inducted into the Florida State Football Hall of Fame.

Fellow defensive tackle Steve Gabbard wore the Seminole 76 after Carreker. If that name sounds familiar, it’s for good reason: his son, Stephen, is Florida State’s current long snapper. The elder Gabbard also earned national honors over a couple of years, as a 1986 Football News second-team sophomore All-American, and again in 1988 as an AP Honorable Mention All-American, the same year that he was a second-team All-South Independent choice.

The only ‘Nole 76 other than Carreker to be a first-team all-conference selection was offensive tackle Ross Brannon, who grabbed that honor as a first-teamer in 1998. And DT Walter Carter gets a nod as well, having been a 10th-round NFL Draft pick of the Raiders.

Other ‘Noles to wear No. 76 at FSU:

  • Bob Keys (1976)
  • Royce Bryan (1957)
  • Lou Wallace (1958)
  • Jeff Clark (1959)
  • Marion Bronson (1960)
  • Max Andrews (1961-1962)
  • Tom West (1963-1964)
  • Donnie Ellers (1965)
  • Jack Fenwick (1966-1968)
  • Bill Rimby (1969-1971)
  • Phil Jones (1973-1975)
  • Charles Washington (1989)
  • Eric McGill (1990-1992)
  • Brian Erb (1994-1995)
  • Chris Anderson (2002)
  • Myles Hodish (2003-2005)
  • Daron Rose (2006-2007)
  • Garrett Faircloth (2009-2012)
  • Trey Sumner (2012)
  • Marcel Benalcazar (2013-2014)
  • Rick Leonard (present)