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72 days to FSU football: Linemen lead the list of Florida State’s best No. 72s

The list of FSU’s prominent 72s is long and loaded with offensive-line talent.

Duke v Florida State

As Florida State’s 2016 season opener draws ever closer, here’s a look at the best No. 72s in FSU history, a list which is unsurprisingly chock full of offensive line talent which has played for the ‘Noles.

Our glance at the greatest 72s begins with an offensive lineman whose accolades at FSU put him in elite company. Pat Tomberlin, who wore No. 72 for Florida State for his final three years with the team, 1986-1988. Tomberlin is one of only five Seminoles who earned at least an honorable mention on an All-America team in each of his four years at FSU. In his freshman season, Tomberlin was an honorable mention on the Associated Press All-American team as well as a second-team All-South Independents honoree. In his second year with the team, Tomberlin received another honorable mention from the AP and moved onto the All-South Independents first team. In his final two years with the team, Tomberlin remained a member of the All-South Independents first team and earned multiple All-American honors, being named to the AP third team in 1987 and five separate second-team All-America squads in his senior campaign. After his collegiate career, Tomberlin was the 99th overall pick in the 1989 NFL Draft by the Indianapolis Colts.

Another notable No. 72 is offensive tackle Ken Lanier. Lanier wore the 72 for his entire career at Florida State (1977-1980) and, beginning with the second game of his freshman season, started a remarkable 46 straight games on the Seminoles’ offensive front, a streak that took him all the way through his final game as a ‘Nole, the 1981 Orange Bowl. Over his illustrious career, Lanier twice earned All-American honors as he was named an honorable mention by the AP in 1979 before breaking onto the AP’s second-team in 1980. Lanier was also a two-time All-South Independents team member, making the first team in 1979 and settling for the second team in 1980. Lanier was taken in the fifth round of the 1981 NFL Draft by the Denver Broncos, becoming a mainstay on the Broncos’ offensive line for many years, including on three squads which lost in the Super Bowl.

Yet another 72 who left an impact at Florida State is offensive tackle Brett Williams. Williams, who wore No. 72 for his entire career at FSU (1998-2002), was a multiple-time All-Conference and All-America honoree like the players above him in this article. Unlike Tomberlin and Lanier, Williams did well enough in his freshman season to warrant a first-team All-Freshman nod in addition to a second-team All-ACC honor in 1999. Williams followed that up by making another appearance on the All-ACC second team in 2000 and a jump to the All-ACC first team in 2001 which he maintained in his senior season. Additionally, Williams’ productive season in 2002 earned him first-team spots on three All-America teams and two more second-team spots on national All-America teams. Williams is also the only No. 72 to be recognized for his academic performance, earning an All-ACC Academic team honor in 2002. To cap off his career, Williams was a fourth-round selection by the Kansas City Chiefs in the 2003 NFL Draft.

Not to be forgotten among these special No. 72s is Florida State’s current No. 72, left guard Kareem Are. No, his career accomplishments don’t fully measure up with those before him at this time but he was one of the strengths of a poorly-regarded offensive line in 2015, earning a third-team All-ACC honor. And entering his redshirt senior season, Are does have one more year left at FSU to leave his mark on the program.

The other Seminoles who have donned No. 72 are:

  • Paul Smith (1957)
  • Randy Logan (1967-1969)
  • Shane Gibbs (1969-1971)
  • Smokey Ragins (1972-1975)
  • David Jones (1976)
  • Mike Thompson (1981)
  • Mike Blue (1982)
  • J.D. Dowell (1982-1984)
  • John Brown (1985)
  • Bryan Law (1985)
  • Steve Allen (1989-1991)
  • Larry Flemming (1993-1994)
  • Jeremy Bratt (1995)
  • Ronald Boldin (1997)
  • Ron Lunford (2001-2005)
  • Budd Thacker (2006-2009)
  • Daniel Foose (2010-2012)
  • Barrett Kernon (2013)