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88 days to FSU football: The top No. 88s in Florida State history

Two Seminoles make strong cases to be the best No. 88.

Kez McCorvey
Kez McCorvey
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

88 days remain until Florida State's season opener of the 2016 season so let's take a look at some of the best to wear No. 88 in program history.

The 88 presents an interesting dilemma in that it's a truly open race with a number of notable Seminoles with differing merits which make a case for each of them to be the best to wear No. 88. In all, four Florida State alums have earned either an All-American nod or honorable mention while wearing No. 88 and two 88s are in the Florida State Athletics Hall of Fame.

We begin our glance back at No. 88 with a rare sight: a defensive lineman who wore a number in the 80-89 range. Willie Jones did just that for each of his four seasons at Florida State (1975-1978) and may be the most decorated 88 to ever play at FSU. In his freshman season, Jones was named an honorable mention for the All-South Independent team. Two years later in 1977, Jones broke through, earning a first-team All-South Independent nod in addition to an honorable mention for the AP All-America team.

However, his most memorable season was far and away his senior campaign which saw him rack up 10 sacks, tied for 15th-most in FSU history, with five of those coming in one dominant game against Florida, putting him in a tie with Ron Simmons for most sacks in a single game in program history. In his final season in Tallahassee, Jones was a first-team member of the All-South Independent team for the second straight year, also earning a second-team All-America nod from the UPI and honorable mentions from the AP and Sporting News. Jones is also the highest drafted No. 88 in school history, going 42nd overall in the 1979 NFL Draft to the Oakland Raiders, where he was a member of the Raiders' Super Bowl XV winning team over the Philadelphia Eagles. Jones' Florida State career was capped off in 1989 when he was inducted into the FSU Athletics Hall of Fame in 1988.

As decorated as Jones was in his time as a Seminole, another No. 88 may have left a larger mark on the Florida State record book. Wide receiver Kez McCorvey wore the 88 for his entire five-year career at FSU (1990-1994) and remains firmly in the record books in a number of categories. McCorvey's 189 career receptions puts him at No. 4 all-time at FSU behind only Rashad Greene, Ron Sellers, and Peter Warrick and his 2,660 career receiving yards is the fifth-most in Florida State history. McCorvey also finds himself in the single-game record book as his 207 receiving yards against Duke in 1994 is the ninth-most in program history. McCorvey was a two-time first-team All-ACC player in 1993 and 1994 and is the sole No. 88 to have earned a first-team All-American honor at FSU after being named to the UPI's first team in addition to being an honorable mention for Scripps Howard. After his Florida State career, McCorvey was selected in the fifth round of the 1995 draft by the Detroit Lions. Like his fellow No. 88 Jones before him, McCorvey was inducted into the FSU Athletics Hall of Fame in 2005.

Other notable No. 88s for Florida State include wideout Hassan Jones, who wore the number for the 1983-1985 seasons while totaling 1,764 receiving yards (19th-most in FSU history) and 17 receiving touchdowns (tied for 14th in program history) while garnering a first-team All-ACC honor and an honorable mention from the AP after the 1985 season. To cap off his career, Jones was the 120th player selected in the 1986 NFL Draft. Jones was closely followed by Bruce LaSane, who received an honorable mention on the Sporting News' All-America team in 1988 in the second of his three years sporting No. 88.

The other players who have worn No. 88 in their careers are:

  • Henry Wetherington (1956)
  • Pete Fleming (1957)
  • Bob Stewart (1958)
  • Jim Hooks (1958-1959)
  • Bill Lee (1960)
  • Don Watson (1961)
  • Mike Sheley (1961)
  • Cliff Gunter (1962, 1964)
  • John Roberts (1963)
  • Jerry Jones (1965-1967)
  • Beryl Rice (1968-1969)
  • Larry Jones (1972)
  • Danny Witcher (1973-1974)
  • Jeff Bowden (1979-1982)
  • Anthony Moss (1986)
  • Carver Donaldson (1997-2001)
  • Derrick Lewis (1997)
  • Lonnie Davis (2002)
  • Donnie Carter (2003)
  • Beau Reliford (2008-2011)
  • Jeren Kowalewski (2012-2013)
  • Mavin Saunders (2014-present)

There can be an argument made for multiple No. 88s to be the best in Florida State history so feel free to share your thoughts and your vote below.