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14 days to FSU football: Trio of QBs compete for best ‘Nole 14

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A true quarterback battle.

Danny McManus passes
Danny McManus
Photo by: Mike Powell/Getty Images

This far into the countdown, and we’re still realizing firsts. Our look at the top players to wear No. 14 at Florida State features the first group of more than two players who have all, exclusively, played the same position; and it happens to be the quarterback spot.

Leading the way is Bill Cappleman, the only of the triumvirate to capture All-American honors, which he did by earning an Honorable Mention from the AP in 1968, the first of two years in which he’d secure All-South Independent first-team nods. The late 60s were a tough time to amass significant passing numbers at any school, but multiple Cappleman efforts still stand in ‘Nole history, beginning with his 1969 game against Memphis State. He threw for 508 yards in that contest, the third most in program history. Perspective: neither Charlie Ward nor Jameis Winston ever topped 500. Cappleman completed 31 passes in that game, tied for the 12th most at Florida State. He shows up twice on the single-game top-20 list, as his 437 yards vs. South Carolina in 1968 rank 12th in FSU history.

As far as seasonal marks go, Cappleman hangs in there as well. In ‘68, he tossed 25 scoring passes, tied for the fifth most in a year at Florida State. And his 1969 left an impression, too. That’s when he completed 183 passes (the 20th most in a ‘Nole season). Across his career at FSU, Cappleman sits 11th in completions (349), passing yards (4,904), and TDs, at which he’s tied with Jimmy Jordan, at 39. Cappleman finished with five 300+ yard passing games, as many as EJ Manuel. He was a second-round choice of the Minnesota Vikings in 1970.

Two other ‘Nole signal-callers of note have excelled wearing the garnet-and-gold 14, the first of whom was Danny McManus. His 25 career touchdown passes are 18th in Florida State history, and his 248 completions round out the top 20 in that category. The Kansas City Chiefs drafted McManus in 1988’s 11th round.

Brad Johnson’s name does not appear anywhere in the Seminole record books. Check your Super Bowl history for that. After being a ninth-round draftee of the Vikings in 1992, Johnson earned Pro-Bowl honors with both Washington in 1999 and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2003. His 2003 season with the Bucs would result in the franchise’s only Super Bowl title.

The other Seminoles to wear No. 14:

  • Gerald Henderson (1956)
  • Frank Springer (1958)
  • Eddie Feely (1960-1962)
  • Jim Massey (1963-1965)
  • Dan Forey (1969)
  • Frank Deming (1971)
  • Billy Prescott (1972-1973)
  • Ryals Lee (1977)
  • Blair Williams (1980-1982)
  • Greg Handsel (1983)
  • Jeff McCrone (1991-1993)
  • William McBride (1993)
  • Charles Tomeo (1994-1995)
  • Marc Donaldson (1994)
  • Richard Brown (1995)
  • Marlin Green (1995)
  • Marcus Outzen (1996-2000)
  • Matt Henshaw (2001-2005)
  • Christian Ponder (2007)
  • Avis Commack (2008-2010)
  • Dennis Johnson (2010)
  • Jacob Coker (2011-2013)
  • Drew Zloch (2012)
  • Nick Waisome (2013)
  • Javien Elliott (2015)

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