The fullback position may have been eliminated from the Florida State roster under Willie Taggart’s offense, but it still factors largely in the history of ’Nole football, and today’s installment in our countdown features not just one of the greatest FSU fullbacks ever, but also one of the Seminoles’ most important leaders.
William Floyd hit Tallahassee in 1990 by way of St. Petersburg’s Lakewood High School. He redshirted his first season, but contributed important minutes as Edgar Bennett’s backup the following year, scoring six touchdowns and showing that he was more than just a hard man to tackle out of the backfield and a fine blocker— Floyd was also versatile, as two of his scores came on the ground, three through the air, and one on a fake field goal during FSU’s 51-31 trouncing of Michigan in Ann Arbor.
But that was far from Floyd’s only big special teams moment in ’91. With the Seminoles still undefeated, he scored the go-ahead touchdown at LSU in Death Valley in late October, and after FSU extended its lead later, he made an amazing hustle play on a botched point-after attempt that preserved Florida State’s 27-16 margin of victory. It was such an impressive effort that it made our top-100 FSU football plays list from last summer. Check out this speed, keeping in mind that he’s running down a cornerback:
That freakish athleticism is part of what made Floyd so special. And in addition to his power and speed, he also had a little shake to his game, a trait not always found in fullbacks.
In 1992, Floyd led Florida State in touchdowns, with 10, and after a fourth-place final AP ranking in ’91, the Seminoles went 11-1 and finished second, while winning the ACC in their first year in the conference— the first of nine consecutive ACC crowns.
1993 brought Florida State its first national title, and Floyd was an integral piece to the puzzle. He logged a career-high 63 carries and amassed 321 total rushing yards, an impressive 5.1 YPC average. His performance in the national championship game against Nebraska was massive, as he averaged 7.6 YPC on seven totes and scored a fourth-quarter TD.
Floyd’s 16 career rushing touchdowns remain tied for 19th, all-time, with William McCray, and that’s over three seasons, as he chose to go pro after his junior season in ’93.
He was the first Seminole to be selected in the 1994 NFL Draft, as the San Francisco 49ers took him in the first round. That’s right: a fullback, in the first round. Floyd collected a title in the pros as well, one of four ’Noles from the ’93 team to do so. He helped the Niners win Super Bowl XXIX as a rookie— only he and Bryan Stork have won a national championship with FSU and then captured a Super Bowl victory the following season.