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43 days to FSU football: Is a kicker the best ‘Nole No. 43?

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Who earns your vote?

Florida State v North Carolina State Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

If postseason accolades are any help in responding to that titular question, the answer might just be yes, as place kicker Graham Gano was beyond decorated at Florida State. Gano only handled place-kicking duties for the ‘Noles for a lone season, but he certainly made the most out of 2008.

Gano was a long-distance sniper, as he converted more 50+ yard attempts than any other ‘Nole kicker has in a single year. Overall, he made more field goals than any other FBS kicker in 2008, when he led that position in scoring, nationally. Gano was named a first-team All-American by CBSSports.com, Scout.com, Rivals.com, and a second-teamer per the AP, Walter Camp, The Sporting News, CNNSI.com, and Phil Steele. Gano followed up a 2007 All-ACC Honorable Mention with a first-team nod in ‘08, when he captured the highest honor for a kicker: the Lou Groza Award. Gano was also an ACC All-Academic selection in 2006.

You’ve got to go back to the 1950s to find the other ‘Nole 43s to register similar accolades, when running back Fred Pickard earned Honorable Mention All-American honors two straight seasons. In 1958, he garnered those selections from the UPI, the AP, and Williamson Middle Group, and again from the UPI and AP in ‘59. Pickard was preceded by back Wayne Benner, who in 1951 was the second Seminole ever drafted, when he was chosen by the Cleveland Browns in the 24th round.

But many have worn the ‘Nole 43— in fact, more scholarship FSU players have donned that number (38) than any other, save one; it’s tied with No. 54 for that claim. The other 43s:

  • Kenneth MacLean (1948-1949)
  • Bob Barber (1954)
  • Emil Abood (1955-1956)
  • Lou Manning (1957)
  • Ron Hinson (1958)
  • John McConnaughay (1960-1961)
  • Wade Botts (1961)
  • George D’Allesandro (1962)
  • Howard Ehler (1963-1965)
  • Howell Montgomery (1966-1968)
  • John Montgomery (1969-1971)
  • Earl Humes (1972-1973)
  • Paul Piurowski (1977)
  • Hector Gray (1978-1979)
  • Homer Thomas (1980)
  • Brian McCrary (1981-1984)
  • Reno Fells (1985)
  • LeRoy Butler (1986)
  • Ray Gibson (1987)
  • Bill Mason (1988-1990)
  • Eric Smith (1991-1994)
  • Ronney Daniels (1995)
  • Jason Poppell (1996)
  • Bill Gramatica (1997)
  • Billy Rhodes (1998)
  • Randy Golighty (1999-2001)
  • Bryce Cox (2001)
  • Torrence Washington (2002)
  • Gordy Reid (2003)
  • Vincent Zann (2009)
  • Franklin Nicholas (2010, 2012)
  • Nigel Terrell (2010)
  • Anthony Porterfield (2010-2012)
  • Ebo Entsuah (2013)
  • Desmond Hollin (2013-2014)

And the top Seminole 43 is?