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61 days to FSU football: A competitive race to be Florida State’s top No. 61

Which of the many viable candidates do you have on top?

Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

61 presents itself as an interesting number in our countdown to Florida State’s 2016. No Seminole sporting No. 61 has ever been named a first-team All-American by any outlet. That being said, three different players have earned an honorable mention or second-team nod on an All-America squad, three have also earned conference recognition, and a trio have been drafted into the NFL. This creates an intriguing conundrum of which player most deserves the title of Florida State’s greatest No. 61, a conversation which you can share your opinion and vote in at the bottom of the page.

Possibly the most widely recognized No. 61 at FSU is guard Montrae Holland. Holland wore the 61 for his entire five-year career (1998-2002) and is the sole No. 61 to earn conference honors in multiple seasons. Holland worked his way up from an All-ACC honorable mention in 2000 to the second team in 2001 and, finally, to a first-team All-ACC nod in his final year at Florida State. Also in 2002, Holland was recognized by both the Sporting News and the AP as a third-team All-American. After college, Holland was a fourth round selection by the New Orleans Saints in the 2003 NFL Draft.

Jack Shinholser, an early No. 61 for FSU, donned the number from 1963 to 1965. In that final year with the team, Shinholser’s play at linebacker was recognized with second-team All-American nods from the Associated Press and the Newspaper Enterprise Association. He followed up his career at Florida State with a stint in the NFL, drafted by the Washington Redskins in the ninth round of the 1966 NFL Draft.

Just over a decade later, offensive lineman Wade Johnson, who wore No. 61 for a pair of two-year stints (1963-1964, 1966-1967), was awarded with a honorable mention from the AP in his senior season in addition to a first-team All-South Independents spot.

A few other 61s of note are offensive lineman Phil Arnold, a first-team All-South Independents selection in 1972, and guard Jerry Jacobs, a 19th-round pick by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 1956 NFL Draft despite never earning any postseason recognition during his time at Florida State.

The other Seminoles to wear No. 61 are:

  • Tommy Thompson (1954)
  • Jim Rogers (1957)
  • Joe McGee (1958)
  • Bill Tyre (1959)
  • Dave Stanley (1960)
  • Jeff Kiores (1961-1962)
  • Chuck Elliott (1966-1968)
  • John Essex (1969)
  • Brent Brock (1978-1980)
  • Daniel Morris (1981-1984)
  • Jim Hendley (1985-1986)
  • Mark Barron (1985)
  • Jim Bekas (1987-1989)
  • Eric Gibbs (1990-1992)
  • Garrison Sanborn (2005)
  • Blake Snider (2009-2010)
  • Myles Davis (2012-2013)
  • Harrison Frank (2015-present)