It’s not often that a Michigan native spurns offers from in-state schools to head down south, but that’s the case with former FSU football linebacker Kirk Carruthers.
Hailing from East Lansing, Carruthers rejected offers from Michigan and Michigan State to enroll at Florida State. The decision to attend FSU shocked many people, especially considering his father played for Michigan State.
“Pretty much everyone thought I was going to Michigan State,” Carruthers told the Orlando Sentinel. “The people I really shocked were my family. My mom didn’t want me to go that far from home.”
The decision to attend Florida State ended up working out well for Carruthers, who turned into an All-American linebacker for the Seminoles.
His breakout game came against Miami in 1989 as a sophomore when he racked up 16 tackles, two interceptions and a fumble recovery against the Hurricanes. Carruthers totaled 145 tackles as a sophomore linebacker and was named an honorable mention All-American for his efforts.
It was during Carruthers’ sophomore season that Bobby Bowden also stopped calling him “Caroothers” and started using the correct pronunciation of his name.
Carruthers did not possess prototypical size for a linebacker, standing at 6 foot 2 and a hair over 200 pounds throughout his career. But his pure athleticism helped the Michigan native carve out a role in FSU’s defense.
At the end of his Florida State career, Carruthers had racked up 435 total tackles, 14 sacks, seven forced fumbles and four interceptions. Not bad for an undersized linebacker.
Carruthers was named an honorable mention All-American again as a senior before having a short career in the NFL with the Miami Dolphins.