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21 days to FSU football: Who’s the best to wear No. 21 for the ‘Noles?

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Another tricky one.

Notre Dame v FSU
Talman Gardner
Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images

Three weeks left to wait— and the days seem to be going faster as we get closer. The discussion about the top 21 to play at Florida State will go pretty quickly as well, as it’s a brief four-player ballot, but we start with a multi-year All-American.

And that would be defensive back Bobby Butler, whose seven interceptions in 1979 are tied for the seventh most in a Seminole season. Butler’s production resulted in an AP All-American Honorable Mention, as well as an All-South Independent second-team nod. Butler upped his national recognition in 1980, when he was an All-American first-teamer per the Newspaper Enterprises Association and a third-team selection of the AP. He was also a first-team All-South Independent choice that year. Butler finished with 11 total picks, tied for the 11th most at FSU. He was a first-round pick of the Atlanta Falcons in 1981.

Although Butler wasn’t the first 21 decorated at Florida State. That would be tight end Joe Goldsmith, who in 1974 earned an All-South Independent Honorable Mention.

More recently, receiver Talman Gardner was a 2001 All-ACC Honorable Mention recipient. His 11 touchdown catches that year are tied for the eighth most in a ‘Nole season, and his eight in 2002 are tied for 19th. On his career, Gardner finished with 19 scoring grabs— tied for 11th at FSU. He was a seventh-round New Orleans Saints’ pick in 2003.

Finally, we come to DB Patrick Robinson, whose five straight games with an interception in 2007 are tied for the longest streak ever at FSU with Terrell Buckley. He’s one of the players tied with Butler for seventh in a season with his seven picks that year, when he was an All-ACC Honorable Mention awardee. Two years later, Robinson was a second-team All-ACC choice. The Saints made him a first-round pick a year later.

The other Florida State 21s:

  • Ralph Chaudron (1948-1949)
  • John Griner (1954)
  • Billy Odom (1955-1956)
  • Lenny Levy (1957)
  • Bobby Carnes (1958)
  • Don Mustain (1959-1960)
  • Dave Snyder (1961)
  • Larry Brinkley (1962-1963)
  • Donovan Jones (1964-1967)
  • John Pell (1968-1969)
  • Lloyd Kelly (1975-1976)
  • John Piurowski (1982-1983)
  • Wayne Denson (1984-1985)
  • John Hadley (1986-1988)
  • Errol McCorvey (1989)
  • Maurice Pinckney (1990)
  • Chris Hall (1991-1992)
  • Rich Sudder (1991-1992)
  • Arthur Gates (1993)
  • Deon Humphrey (1994-1998)
  • Dominic Robinson (2003-2004)
  • Trevor Ford (2005)
  • Avis Commack (2011)
  • Debrale Smiley (2010-2012)
  • Chris Casher (2012-2015)
  • Lucas Clark (2015)
  • Logan Tyler (present)

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