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58 days to FSU football: Top ‘Nole No. 58 is a tough call

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Elite talent leads the way.

Peter Boulware
Peter Boulware

Another installment in our countdown to 2016 Florida State football, and another first: the battle as to the best No. 58 in ‘Nole history is the first to feature a pair of consensus All-Americans. In what could be a close vote, defensive ends Peter Boulware and Jamal Reynolds lead the way.

One of the more dominant defensive players in Seminole history, Boulware remains the single-season FSU sack leader, as his remarkable nation’s high of 19 QB takedowns in 1996 still stands. The year prior, Boulware registered 10 sacks, tied for the 14th most in an FSU season; he’s one of only two ‘Nole defenders to have posted multiple top-20 sack seasons. In ‘96, the Football News named Boulware its National Defensive Player of the Year, and he was also dubbed the ACC Defensive Player of the Year. Boulware was a consensus All-American in ‘96, as well as a first-team All-ACC selection. His 34 career sacks rank second in Florida State history. In the 1997 NFL Draft, Boulware was taken with the fourth overall pick by the Baltimore Ravens, with whom he was a consensus All-Rookie selection. Boulware made four Pro Bowls with the Ravens and won a Super Bowl in 2001.

Boulware was inducted into the FSU Football Hall of Fame in 2004; in 2013, he was joined by Reynolds, who took over the No. 58 in ‘97. Two years later, he was a second-team All-ACC choice, but, like Boulware, Reynolds’ final season, of 2000, really cemented his name in Florida State history. He had 12 sacks, tied for the eighth best season as a ‘Nole, and his 15 tackles for loss tie for the 18th most in one year as a Seminole. in 2000, he caused four fumbles, had two safeties, and became just the second FSU player to bring home the Lombardi Award presented to the outstanding college lineman/linebacker of the year, as well as consensus All-American honors. Reynolds finished his Florida State career tied for fourth in total sacks (23.5) and tenth, with 33 TFL. He was a first-round draft pick of the Green Bay Packers in 2001.

But back to the Boulware bloodline, because after Reynolds turned pro, Peter’s little brother, Michael, took over the garnet-and-gold 58 after wearing another number as a freshman. The younger Boulware improved every year at FSU. As a sophomore linebacker, he earned an Honorable Mention to the All-ACC team. The next year, he was a second-teamer. And in his final season, he was first-team All-ACC. In his final two years at FSU, Boulware also secured ACC All-Academic honors. Boulware was so productive that he still checks in fifth, all-time, in FSU career tackles, with 377. He was a second-round pick of the Seattle Seahawks in 2004, the same year that he brought in a consensus NFL All-Rookie nod.

Prior to the conquests of the Boulwares and Reynolds, though, some other Seminoles had already made their mark wearing No. 58, most notably linebacker Henry Taylor. Taylor, who was at Florida State from 1981-1984, earned a first-team All-South Independent acknowledgment as a senior, the same year he was an AP All-American Honorable Mention. Taylor is eighth in FSU history with 344 tackles. And defensive end Dan Footman was a 1993 second-round draft pick of the Cleveland Browns.

The other Seminoles to wear No. 58:

  • Jim Costello (1948)
  • Rin Grossman (1949)
  • Steve Gildea (1968-1969)
  • Andy Schmidt (1970-1971)
  • Greg Pounds (1972-1974)
  • Waldo Williams (1975)
  • Abe Smith (1976)
  • John Madden (1977-1980)
  • Thomas Harp (1985-1987)
  • Chris Nicholas (1986-1987)
  • Nick Ekonomou (1988-1989)
  • Dumaka Atkins (2005-2006)
  • Dan Hicks (2010-2011)
  • Ryan Alicea (2012-2013)
  • Austin Weller (2012)
  • Ryan Arnold (2013)

So which impressive No. 58 gets your vote for FSU’s best?