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27 days to FSU football: Is Florida State’s all-time interception leader the top No. 27?

Less than four weeks until Florida State begins its 2016 season.

Terrell Buckley

When looking through the list of players who have worn No. 27 at Florida State, it’s one of the most stacked numbers with regard to accomplishments. After all, 27 is a retired number but also has seen a pair of consensus All-Americans wear the number while four total All-American Seminoles have worn the 27.

First and foremost is the man whose career warranted the retiring of the No. 27 in 2011, Terrell Buckley. Buckley, a Seminole from 1989-1991, remains one of the greatest cornerbacks in Florida State history despite only three years in Tallahassee. Buckley broke on to a trio of second-team All-America squads in 1990 before having perhaps the greatest season by a defensive back in program history in 1991. Buckley’s 12 interceptions in his junior season led the nation and still remains the most in a single season in program history. Buckley’s spectacular season did not go unrewarded as he was named a consensus All-American and the second Thorpe Award winner in Florida State history. Buckley was a two-time first-team All-South Independents honoree in 1990 and 1991.

Despite the buzz around Deion Sanders, Buckley holds the more substantive role of the two, at least in the record books. His 21 career interceptions and 501 yards on interception returns remain school records and his four career interception return touchdowns is tied for the most in program history. Buckley also excelled as a return man; his three touchdowns on punt returns are tied for the most over a career in program history. After three years at FSU, Buckley left for the NFL and was taken with the fifth overall pick by the Green Bay Packers in the 1992 NFL Draft.

Although Buckley’s career is among the most impressive in Florida State history, there are a number of other notable players who have donned the 27 at FSU. Tay Cody, a defensive back for the Seminoles from 1996 to 2000, ended his collegiate career on a high note when he was named a consensus All-American after his 2000 season which saw him rack up six interceptions, tied for sixth in program history. Cody was also a two-time All-ACC honoree, earning second team honors in 1998 and breaking onto the first team in 2000. His 12 career interceptions is still good for sixth-most in school history. Cody was a third-round pick in the 2001 NFL Draft by the San Diego Chargers and was inducted into the FSU Athletics Hall of Fame in 2015.

Florida State running back Victor Floyd received an honorable mention from the Associated Press in his redshirt freshman season, 1985, to go along with a second-team All-South Independents nod before he was drafted in the 11th round of the 1989 NFL Draft. More recently, Xavier Rhodes wore the 27 from 2009 through 2012 while playing in the secondary, earning a pair of Freshman All-American honors as a redshirt freshman in 2010 along with a second-team All-ACC team spot before he became a first-team All-ACC player in his final year with the team, which he capped off by being selected 25th overall in the 2013 NFL Draft by the Minnesota Vikings. Also of note is Michael Whiting, a Florida State running back from 1979-1981, who earned second-team All-South Independents honors in his final year at FSU.

The other Seminoles to sport the No. 27 are:

  • Curt Vogtritter (1948)
  • Louis Sutton (1949)
  • Billy Graham (1954)
  • Gene Cox (1955)
  • Stan Dobosz (1956-1957)
  • Jack Espenship (1958-1959)
  • Jack Forehand (1960)
  • Tom Haney (1961)
  • Phil Spooner (1962-1963, 1965)
  • Bill Cox (1966-1968)
  • Arthur Munroe (1969-1971)
  • Ken Johnson (1972)
  • Mike Harder (1973-1974)
  • Vic Fowler (1976-1977)
  • Lenx Jackson (1982)
  • Randy White (1983)
  • Brian Xanders (1992)
  • Rodney Wells (1993-1995)
  • Claudius Osei (2001-2004)
  • Pat Davis (2005)
  • Russell Ball (2007)
  • Terrance Parks (2008)
  • Jordan Stanley (2010)
  • Chris Brown (2012)
  • Marquez White (2013-present)