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The top 100 FSU football players: No. 59 — quarterback, halfback, receiver, defensive back Lee Corso

The Sunshine Scooter did it all for the Seminoles — and then became one of college football’s most iconic faces

Florida Flambeau

Sunshine Scooter, Lightning Lee: the speedy, athletic player from Jackson High School in Miami came to be known as many names through his time at FSU, but in the end, none of them resonate the same way his actual name does in the world of college football.

Before he was a fixture on the show that helped define college football to generations of fans, Lee Corso was a freshman on the 1953 Florida State football team, lining up at quarterback to toss for a modest 142 yards and rush for 207 while also playing both sides of the ball, recording a pick six and blocked kick.

In 1954, however, the Scooter came into full force (also the year he roomed with Burt Reynolds, draw your own conclusions), with Corso switching from pass thrower to pass catcher, putting up 240 yards receiving and 273 rushing alongside 252 special teams yards. On the defensive side of the ball, he recorded six interceptions, two blocked kicks and six defensive scores.

By the time his career with the Seminoles finished, a 23-18 record, Corso was Florida State’s career leader in interceptions with, a mark he’d retain for twenty years until it was broken by Monk Bonosarte (and later, Terrell Buckley).

He’d get into coaching relatively fast, starting as quarterbacks coach at Maryland before advancing to become head coach at Louisville, and then Indiana, ending his career with a one-year run at Northern Illinois in 1984, his final coaching record finishing at 73-85-6.

In 1987, he joined some show called College GameDay, becoming the heart of the television program that would go on to become synonymous with college football Saturdays in America.