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16 days to FSU football: Heisman winner is clear leader of Florida State No. 16s

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One of the most prolific passers in school history leads the way.

Chris Weinke #16

After 82 entries in the countdown without a Heisman, today’s countdown piece marks the second straight day where a Florida State Heisman winner is featured. After yesterday’s highlighted the career of Charlie Ward, today’s zooms in on Chris Weinke, FSU’s preeminent No. 16.

Weinke, the first three-year starter at quarterback in Bobby Bowden’s tenure as head coach at Florida State, led the Seminoles to their second national championship in program history as a junior in 1999, earning an honorable mention on Football News’ All-America team and a second-team All-ACC nod while doing so. Although the team came up just short of another national title the following year, 2000 is the year when Weinke truly cemented his legacy in Tallahassee.

That year, while leading the ‘Noles to a national title game loss against Oklahoma, Weinke had a season for the ages, compiling 4,167 passing yards, an FSU record to this day, and 33 touchdowns, second most in a single season in program history. For his efforts, Weinke was well rewarded. He took home the 2000 Heisman Trophy, the second in school history, as well as the Davey O’Brien and Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Awards. The accolades did not stop there, however, as he also was named the College Football News Player of the Year, the Chevrolet Player of the Year, the ESPY winner for College Player of the Year, and, last but certainly not least, the ACC Player of the Year. It goes without saying that Weinke was named to multiple All-America teams as well as to the All-ACC first team but he worked just as hard in the classroom, earning an Academic All-ACC honor in 1998, 1999, and 2000 as well as an NCAA post-graduate scholarship in 2000, making him one of just nine Seminoles to accomplish this. As an example of the impact that Weinke made during his time at Florida State, his jersey was retired the year after he left FSU, 2001, and he was inducted into the FSU Athletics Hall of Fame in 2011. In 2001, Weinke was a fourth-round selection in the NFL Draft by the Charlotte Panthers.

To say that Weinke left a significant mark in the Florida State record books might still be a massive understatement. Over his collegiate career, he set 26 school records, many of which still remain to this day. On top of the aforementioned single-season passing yards record set in 2000, Weinke is Florida State’s career passing yards leader with 9,839, which is also good for fourth most in ACC history. Additionally, Weinke holds the FSU records for career touchdown passes (79), most passing yards in a single game (536), most career completions (650), most yards per completion over a season (17.1) and career (15.14), most 200-yard games (34), most consecutive 200-yard games (20), and is in a tie with Christian Ponder for the longest pass in school history (98 yards to Snoop Minnis vs. Clemson in 2000). Weinke’s 14 career 300-yard games is also tied for most in program history with Jameis Winston.

Although Weinke will be the surefire winner of this poll on account of his numerous accolades, there are a few other No. 16s worthy of mention for what they accomplished during their time at Florida State. Two other signal callers, Gary Pajcic and Chris Rix earned national honors while sporting the 16. Pajcic earned an honorable mention on the Associated Press All-America team and Rix, Weinke’s direct successor whose 8,390 passing yards is the second most in Florida State history, was a member of Sporting News’ first-team Freshman All-America team in 2001. The only non-quarterback of the bunch, free safety Richard Coes, was named a ACC All-Academic team selection in 1993 as a part of FSU’s first team to win a national title.

The other Seminoles to wear No. 16 are:

  • Billy Weaver (1954)
  • Ron WIlliams (1957)
  • Ed Pritchett (1963-1965)
  • David Barnes (1969)
  • Randy Shively (1969)
  • Billy Sexton (1972)
  • Jimmy Black (1973-1976)
  • Jeff Ledbetter (1980)
  • Dominick Sneed (1980)
  • Rick Taylor (1981-1983)
  • Tracy Sanders (1984-1988)
  • Marlin Green (1994)
  • Sean Key (1995-1996)
  • Mikhal Kornegav (2005)
  • Mister Alexander (2008-2010)
  • Will Secord (2009-2011)
  • Ukeme Eligwe (2012)
  • Dorsey Moore (2012)
  • Clay Pickler (2013)
  • Jacob Pugh (2014-present)
  • J.J. Cosentino (2015-present)