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52 days to FSU football: Offense vs. defense for the best ‘Nole to wear No. 52

Two big men go head to head.

Fed Ex Orange Bowl: Penn State v Florida State
Brodrick Bunkley
Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images

Most of the pieces in our countdown series are battles between players in the same position group. Defensive linemen in the 90s. Receivers in the 80s. But as we near the last of the 50s, we’ve an intriguing contest between the offensive and defensive lines.

The former is led by Seminole center Bryan Stork, the only ‘Nole 52 to win a national position award. Stork took home the Rimington Trophy presented to the country’s top center in Florida State’s title season of 2013, the same season that he was a consensus All-American. He was a first-team All-ACC choice that year with the highest average grade on an impressive FSU line after earning a second-team nod in 2012. The New England Patriots grabbed Stork in the fourth round of the 2014 NFL Draft, where he took home a Super Bowl ring as a rookie.

But don’t sleep on nose guard Brodrick Bunkley. He punctuated his Seminole career with a 2005 for the ages, when he posted more tackles for loss than any other ‘Nole has in one season, a staggering 25. Nine of those were sacks (tied for the 17th best season at FSU). That production earned him a first-team All-American selection from the FWAA, a second-team honor from The Sporting News, and a third-team designation from the AP, as well as a second-team All-ACC pick. Bunkley took his 37 career TFL, the eighth most at Florida State, to the Philadelphis Eagles in 2006, when the birds made him one of four first-round ‘Nole draft picks, a feat only accomplished one other time (1997).

But we return to the offensive side of the ball for our final few candidates, beginning with tackle Robert Stevenson. He was a second-team Football News All-American in 1992, when he also secured Honorable Mention All-American honors, per the UPI. Stevenson was a second-team All-South Independent choice in 1991, and a first-team All-ACC player the following year. A decade later, center Antoine Mirambeau followed suit, garnering second-team All-ACC recognition in 2002. But another ‘Nole playing center was the first drafted at No. 52: Wayne McDuffie, who was taken by the Cleveland Browns in the 17th round in 1968.

The other FSU players to wear No. 52:

  • Chris Banakas (1948-1949)
  • Troy Barnes (1955-1957)
  • John Bell (1958)
  • Don Sellers (1959-1960)
  • Chuck Robinson (1961-1963)
  • Ken Frazier (1964)
  • Harvey Zion (1966)
  • Mike Sammons (1968)
  • Craig Sowers (1969)
  • Reese Rainey (1970-1971)
  • Rocky Saldana (1972)
  • Gino Bennie (1973-1974)
  • Alan Risk (1976)
  • Fred Igaz (1977)
  • Bryan Cobb (1978)
  • Willie Andrusko (1979)
  • Sam Restivo (1980-1983)
  • John Eaford (1984-1987)
  • Daryl Bush (1993)
  • Demetro Stephens (1994-1998)
  • Brian Ross (2001)
  • Jeremy Franklin (2006)
  • Robert Chambers (2010)
  • Ukeme Eligwe (2013-2014)
  • David Robbins (present)

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