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32 days to FSU football: Super Bowl champ opens best ‘Nole No. 32 debate

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An NFL executive starts the conversation.

Discover Orange Bowl - Northern Illinois v Florida State
James Wilder, Jr.
Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

Today’s discussion and vote regrading the top Seminoles football players to excel wearing No. 32 involves players from both sides of the ball, but begins in the secondary.

Defensive back Martin Mayhew was far from the standout player in his position group during his time at Florida State— he played with Deion Sanders, after all. But Mayhew nevertheless found solid success defending for the garnet and gold, earning second-team All-South Independent honors in 1985, while also crushing it in the classroom as an Academic All-American that year. Mayhew was a 10th-round draftee of the Buffalo Bills in 1988 and won Super Bowl XXVI with Washington in 1992. After his playing career, Mayhew took to front-office work, and after serving as the Detroit Lions’ General Manager, he joined the New York Giants as Director of Football Operations earlier in 2016.

The only other ‘Nole 32 to gain all-conference-level accolades is running back James Wilder, Jr., who was an All-ACC Honorable Mention in the Seminoles’ title season of 2013. Wilder was a rushing TD machine in Tallahassee: his 11 in 2012 are tied for 11th most in 'Nole history, and his 8 in the Florida State title season of 2013 are tied for the 20th most in a season. Wilder finished his career with 20 rushing scores, tied for 11th most in program history. The FSU 32s drafted, aside from Mayhew, include a couple more running backs. Popular power back Zack Crockett was a third-round choice of the Indianapolis Colts in 1995, while Bill Driver was selected by the Cleveland Browns in 1951.

The other Seminoles to have donned the No. 32:

  • Wyatt Parrish (1948-1949)
  • Ted Rodrique (1954)
  • Bill Richardson (1965-1966)
  • Ed Chershkoff (1967)
  • Eddie Davis (1969-1972)
  • Mike Barnes (1973, 1975)
  • Greg Ramsey (1977-1979)
  • Darish Davis (1980-1981)
  • Paul Moore (1988-1991)
  • Khalid Abdullah (1995-1997)
  • Clay Terrell (1998)
  • Jean Jeune (1999-2000)
  • Leroy Smith (2001-2004)
  • Joe Surratt (2005-2007)
  • Brandon Simmons (2010)
  • Sean Tidmus (2012)

Cast your ballot below: