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35 days to FSU football: Mackey Award winner leads the Seminole 35s

Five weeks until Florida State football.

ACC Championship - Florida State v Georgia Tech Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

We are just five weeks away from FSU’s 2016 season opener against Ole Miss and, as such, here’s an inside look at Florida State’s top players to wear No. 35, highlighted by a recent offensive star.

That star is Nick O’Leary. O’Leary, who sported No. 35 for his entire career as a Seminole (2011-2014), is the first and only FSU tight end to be awarded the Mackey Award given to the best tight end in the nation, receiving the honor after his senior season. Before that historic campaign, O’Leary was an honorable mention on College Football News’ Freshman All-America team in 2011, an honorable mention on the 2012 All-ACC team, and, in 2013, a Mackey Award finalist ias well as earning a third-team All-American honor from CBS and a second-team All-ACC nod.

However, O’Leary is most widely known for that 2014 season. His 618 yards and six touchdowns on 48 catches made him a consensus All-American and a first-team All-ACC player in addition to a Mackey Award winner.

Statistically, O’Leary is by far the greatest tight end in Florida State’s illustrious history, leading all FSU TEs in career receptions (114), yards, (1,591), and touchdowns (18).

After his collegiate career ended, O’Leary was a part of Florida State’s loaded 2014 draft class when he was taken in the sixth round of the draft by the Buffalo Bills.

Although O’Leary seems the most viable candidate to be named FSU’s best No. 35, there are a few other former Seminoles worth noting. The first of these is Sean Jackson. Jackson played tailback for the ‘Noles from 1990-1993, capping off his career with Florida State’s first national championship. Jackson was a second-team All-ACC selection in 1993 when he was the team’s leading rusher with 825 yards and five rushing touchdowns. Additionally, Jackson has the fourth-longest run in FSU history, going for 88 yards against Wake Forest in 1992. Jackson’s 2,133 career rushing yards as a ‘Nole is good for 11th most in program history. In 1994, Jackson was drafted by the Houston Oilers in the fourth round of the NFL Draft.

The first chronological No. 35 of note is running back Leon Bright. Bright donned the 35 for FSU from 1973 to 1975 and he was a two-time all-conference honoree, earning honorable mentions on the 1974 and 1975 All-South Independents teams.

The other Seminoles to wear No. 35 are:

  • Bill Quigley (1948)
  • Dan McClure (1949)
  • Tommy Bouchlas (1954)
  • John Hosack (1965-1966)
  • Mike Gray (1968-1969)
  • Randy Shively (1970-1971)
  • Brooks Burroughs (1972)
  • Ernie Sims (1978, 1980-1981)
  • Ellis Singletary (1979)
  • Horace Wilmot (1982-1983)
  • John Hadley (1984-1985)
  • Lenny Sutton (1986)
  • Chris Parker (1987-1990)
  • Dante Snodgrass (1993)
  • Randall Long (1994)
  • Todd Frier (1995-1999)
  • Claudius Osei (2000)
  • Brandon Myers (2001)
  • Eric Shelton (2001)
  • B.J. Dean (2002-2005)
  • Marcus Sims (2006-2008)
  • Greg Dent (2010)
  • Parker Conley (2012)
  • Reginald Dixon Jr. (2013-2014)
  • Lorenzo Phillips (2015)