In counting down to kickoff via the greatest Florida State football players ever, it can be kind of tough to find a Seminole who’s done something that no other ’Nole can claim. But that’s where we find ourselves with today’s installment, running back Travis Minor: the only player in FSU history to have led the team in rushing for four years.
How’s this for running back pedigree: Minor made his way to Tallahassee from Catholic High School in Baton Rouge, Louisiana— the same high school that produced fellow Florida State running back Warrick Dunn. Like Dunn, Minor excelled as both a football and track star, in Louisiana and at Florida State.
Also like Dunn, Minor’s impact at FSU was felt immediately, as the latter rushed for 623 yards in his freshman year of 1997, the fourth highest frosh rushing total in program history. He also accounted for 9 rushing touchdowns, his career high as a Seminole and a tie for the 17th most in garnet and gold. Here’s one of those scores, against Georgia Tech, in which Minor’s impressive acceleration is on display:
A week later, FSU traveled to Charlottesville for the first time since dropping its first ACC game, at Virginia, in 1995. Minor stunned the hyped Cavalier faithful on the game’s first snap with an 87-yard touchdown run that remains the sixth longest on record for the ’Noles:
He went on to compile 157 yards on the ground against the Wahoos, his career high.
Minor also scored a pair of TDs in Florida State’s 47-0 win over Miami, the Seminoles’ most lopsided victory in the history of the rivalry. He was a second-team All-ACC honoree in his initial campaign and was named ACC Rookie of the Year.
1998 saw the ’Noles waste little time in establishing Minor as their clearcut feature back. In an opening win over Texas A&M, Minor carried the ball 34 times, which remains the most ever in a single Seminole contest. But he was versatile as well, known as an outstanding blocker and receiving back. Repeating as a second-team All-ACC choice, Minor helped FSU return to the national title game. And even though that banged-up FSU squad came up short against Tennessee, Minor held his own, averaging 5.5 YPC on 15 totes.
In 1999, Minor and the ’Noles atoned for the previous season’s disappointment, authoring an undefeated season and going wire-to-wire as the nation’s No. 1 team. Minor’s biggest game of the season was his 146-yard performance against Miami in which his fourth-quarter score iced a 31-21 win:
In addition to a national championship ring, Minor also collected first-team All-ACC honors in 1999.
Minor’s most productive rushing season was his senior season in 2000, when he went for 923 yards, the 19th highest total in school history. For the third consecutive season, the Seminoles played for the national title, coming up short against Oklahoma. Minor was an All-ACC second-teamer.
Sharing the spotlight with Heisman Trophy winner Chris Weinke and dynamic receiver Peter Warrick, Minor was a somewhat unsung Seminole, one who never enjoyed a 1,000-yard season or an All-America nod. He doesn’t have a single-game rushing total in the top-20 at Florida State.
But he was a steadying force who did everything well, and that’s proven by his lofty position in the FSU record books. In both total yards (3,218) and 100-yard games (14), Minor ranks fourth, behind Dalvin Cook, Dunn, and Greg Allen. He’s also sixth, all-time, with 28 rushing TDs for the ’Noles. Minor is tied for 17th in scoring at Florida State; he’s level with Devonta Freeman on both total touchdowns (31) and points (186).
Moreover, Minor’s FSU teams achieved tremendous success. From 1997-2000, the Seminoles combined for a record of 45-5 and won the ACC every year.
In the 2001 NFL Draft, Minor was a third-round pick of the Miami Dolphins.