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34 days to FSU football: Legends top ballot for best ‘Nole No. 34

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A two-man race.

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

Fewer Florida State football players have donned the No. 34 than any other number, primarily due to its retirement in 1985. Since then, its only been worn by one player. The guy who got it retired and the one for whom the exception was made are today’s blockbuster choices for the top No. 34 in ‘Nole history.

When you think of Seminole receiver Ron Sellers, the word "first" should come immediately to mind. He was a member of the first class inducted into the FSU Football Hall of Fame in 1977. In 1985, his No. 34 was one of the first retired at Florida State, along with that of Fred Biletnikoff. Sellers is also one of just seven Seminoles inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. A consensus All-American in 1967, Sellers also earned first-team All-American honors from the AP, the American Football Coaches Association, Football News, The Sporting News, Kodak, and Time Magazine, with second-team nods from the UPI, the Newspaper Enterprises Association, and the Football Writers Association of America in 1968, when he was a first-team All-South Independent selection.

Sellers’ name remains omnipresent in ‘Nole receiving records. His 16 receptions against South Carolina in 1968 remain the most ever in a single game at FSU, and his 14 vs. Wake Forest (‘68), Houston (‘68), and Penn State (‘67) round out the top four in that category. He also had 13 grabs against Memphis State (‘68), Alabama (‘67) and Virginia Tech (‘66), tied for the fifth most catches in a single Seminole game. Five of the top seven single-game receiving yardage games still belong to Sellers, ranging from No. 1 (260 vs. Wake in ‘68) to No. 7 (214 against Houston in ‘68). Oh and that tilt against the Demon Deacons in ‘68? How about Sellers’ five TD receptions, still an FSU record.

Of course, big games beget huge seasons, and Sellers offered several to earn the accolades listed above. His 86 grabs in ‘68 are second only to Rashad Greene’s 99 in ‘14— Sellers’ 1968 may be the greatest season any receiver has ever enjoyed in the garnet and gold. He averaged 8.6 receptions per game and posted 1,496 receiving yards, both No. 1 in FSU history. 12 TD snags? Tied for fifth. His 70 catches in ‘67 are seventh all-time for the ‘Noles, which he turned into 1,228 yards, the sixth best total at Florida State, and he tied for 19th that season, with 8 scoring catches.

And all this culminates in Sellers’ phenomenal Florida State career. His career receptions-per-game mark of 7.07, still first in Florida State history, is more than an entire catch better than Greene, who comes in second at 5.29, and his 19 100+ receiving yard games is four clear of Greene for the most ever at FSU. Sellers has a school-high five 200+ yard receiving games and a staggering 119.9 career mark of reception yards per game. Sellers was the sixth pick, overall, in 1969, when he was drafted by the New England Patriots.

In 2003, Sellers’ blessing was given to Tallahassee’s own Ernie Sims, a linebacker wishing to wear his No. 34. Sims did that number justice, as he was a 2004 first-team ESPN All-American and a second-team All-ACC honoree, a year ahead of earning an Honorable Mention all-conference selection. The Detroit Lions chose Sims with the ninth pick of the 2006 NFL Draft.

The other Seminoles to wear No. 34:

  • Bob Case (1948)
  • George Spurling (1949)
  • Ron Schomburger (1954)
  • Frank Loner (1965-1966)

Cast your vote below!