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36 days to FSU football: Who tops your list of Florida State’s greatest No. 36s?

Each of the three contenders have a unique distinction.

Florida State Seminoles v Clemson Tigers Photo By Grant Halverson/Getty Images

With just over 5 weeks until FSU’s season opener against Ole Miss inside Orlando’s Camping World Stadium, it’s time for Tomahawk Nation’s continuing countdown of the best Seminoles to wear each number to take a look at Florida State’s top No. 36s.

Three different Seminole defenders earned honors while donning the No. 36, with each sporting a unique distinction in their careers which separates them from the other two.

First is Kelvin Smith, a linebacker for the ‘Noles from 1987 to 1990, who had a breakout sophomore season in 1988, earning an honorable mention on the Associated Press’ All-America team. Smith is the only No. 36 in FSU history to have been recognized on an All-America team.

Next up is FSU linebacker Ken Alexander, who wore the garnet and gold No. 36 for the 1991, 1992, and 1993 seasons. Alexander was a first-team All-ACC team member in his final year with Florida State but, additionally, his distinction from the other 36s of note is that he is the only No. 36 in program history who has earned an academic honor. Alexander was named a second-team Academic All-American and a Academic All-ACC honoree in 1993.

The final No. 36 worth mentioning in the conversation is Dekoda Watson. Watson, who lined up at outside linebacker for the ‘Noles from 2006-2009. Like Alexander before him, Watson topped out his collegiate career as an All-ACC selection, being named to the All-ACC second team in 2009. However, unlike the two notable No. 36s before him, Watson was drafted into the NFL after his Florida State career ended, going in the seventh round of the 2010 NFL Draft to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Watson also has a lingering footprint on the FSU record books as his 32.5 career tackles for loss is tied for 11th-most in school history.

The other Seminoles to wear No. 36 are:

  • Joe Crona (1948)
  • Bob Waff (1949)
  • Bill Brown (1954)
  • Rick Oreair (1969-1971)
  • Doug Glosson (1972)
  • Jim Heggins (1973, 1975)
  • Chip Sanders (1976-1977)
  • Cliff Holiday (1979-1982)
  • James Graganella (1983)
  • Cleveland McNabb (1984)
  • Eric Stiehl (1985-1986)
  • James D’Amico (1994)
  • Dennis Andrews (1995)
  • Vannez Gooch (1996)
  • William McCray (1997-2000)
  • James Buchanan (2001-2002)
  • James Coleman (2003-2005)
  • Jarred Haggins (2010)
  • Kory Burnett (2012)
  • Jermaine Washington (2012-2013)
  • Tyrell Lyons (2013)