“Better to be lucky than good.” It’s a well-worn cliché, especially in sports. When you become a consensus All-American, you’ve got the “good” part more than covered— but when you opt to put off the NFL, return to school, and then you do it again? That’s pretty lucky— for your program.
And that was the case with one of the greatest blockers in ’Nole history: Alex Barron. After reviewing how exemplary Barron’s FSU career wound up, it’s actually a little surprising just how long it took to get going.
The Seminoles pulled Barron, a four-star prospect, from Orangeburg, South Carolina in 2000— when he promptly redshirted. And in his first two years of eligibility after that, Barron saw action in just five games, starting only one, late in the 2002 season.
So let’s just say he was rested. Or due. Or angry. Because for the rest of his career in Tallahassee, Barron was one of the best offensive lineman in the country.
Let’s get the easy stuff out of the way: Barron was a first-team All-ACC choice in both 2003 and 2004. Now to the heavy lifting. Barron became FSU’s first consensus All-American OT in 2003, when he was named a first-teamer by the AP, the FWAA, and Walter Camp, while garnering an Honorable Mention from CNNSI.com.
In 2004, Barron piled up even more recognition, again being recognized as a consensus All-American. Naming him to their first teams were the AP, the FWAA, Walter Camp, The Sporting News, the American Football Coaches Association, College Football News, and ESPN.
In earning two-time consensus All-America nods, Barron joined a very exclusive club of just six other ’Noles who can lay claim to that accomplishment: Ron Simmons, Deion Sanders, Derrick Brooks, Marvin Jones, Sebastian Janikowski, and Peter Warrick. No Seminole has done it since. Barron is the only FSU offensive lineman to have had his locker sealed.
His amateur eligibility finally exhausted, Barron didn’t remain on the board long at the 2005 NFL Draft. The St. Louis Rams chose him with the 19th overall pick; he was the second OT to be selected. Barron was inducted into the Florida State Hall of Fame in 2016.