Let’s get the choosin’ underway.
To help the offseason pass a bit faster Tomahawk Nation is introducing our new Mount Rushmore series, where we’ll be determining the top four Seminoles at each position by weighing everything from stats to accomplishments to historical significance.
Each Monday, we’ll post a poll for the Tomahawk Nation community to choose their top four Seminoles for that week’s position group. On Tuesday, various TN contributors will make their cases in a roundtable format and then finally, we’ll share final poll results each Thursday to determine that position’s Mount Rushmore.
This week, we’re continuing the series by looking at the wide receivers. Check out a brief description under each player or click on their names to read more about their accomplishments (alongside selections from our previous series revolving around the top 100 players in FSU history and the top 100 plays), then vote for your top four at the bottom and let us know the reasoning behind your choices in the comments.
Let the debate begin!
A member of FSU’s famed “Fab Four” receiving corps, Terry Anthony teamed up with Lawrence Dawsey, Ron Lewis, and Bruce LaSane to wreak havoc on opposing defensive backfields in the late 1980’s. He led the 1988 Seminoles with 550 yards on just 32 receptions, 8 of which went for touchdowns, including a bomb from Peter Tom Willis that broke the backs of the then 15th-ranked South Carolina Gamecocks.
Had Anthony been a featured receiver on any other team, his numbers would have been enormous. However, the “Fab Four” played some of the most unselfish ball among wide receiver teammates that you’ll ever see. He finished his time in Tallahassee with 79 career receptions for 1,375 yards and 17 touchdowns, punctuated by a 62-yarder against Florida in 1989.
Anthony was drafted in the 11th-round by the Bucs in 1990. Though his career in the pros was cut short due to injury after only two seasons, Anthony stayed close to the game by transitioning into coaching at his prep alma mater, Daytona Beach Mainland High School, where he has been for over 25 years.
Kelvin Benjamin arrived as another talented blue-chip prospect from the Muck. A product of Glades Central High School, coached by former FSU WR great Jessie Hester, Benjamin arrived over the normal weight expected of a wide receiver, even one of his tall stature. Being over 240 pounds meant Benjamin was forced to redshirt his true freshman year, with whispers of a position change to tight end.
Benjamin had breakout moments in his second year campaign, with 495 yards and four touchdowns showing his potential. He delivered on that potential the very next season. Benjamin notched his first 100-yard game against Boston College in a game that showed the resiliency that would come to define the 29 game win streak FSU enjoyed around the 2013 season. Then he set the tone for a 51-14 drubbing of Clemson in the hosts’ worst home defeat in history:
Benjamin finished with a 1,000 yard season, which included this absolutely demoralizing moment in his 200+ yard performance against the Florida Gators:
All this being said, Kelvin Benjamin’s legacy will always be intertwined with this moment that Seminole fans will remember forever:
Fred Biletnikoff came to Florida State as a wide receiver in 1961 and left three years later as the school’s first consensus All-American. He starred for the Seminoles from 1961-64, drawing national attention to FSU’s sophisticated passing game. He set then-school single season records for receptions (57), receiving yards (987) and touchdowns scored (11) as a senior and he ranked fourth in the nation in receptions touchdowns.
His numbers do not include his phenomenal 1964 Gator Bowl performance against Oklahoma when he set a then-FSU single game record with 13 receptions for 192 yards and four touchdowns, marks that would all stand until some guy nicknamed “Jingle Joints” came along a few years later and broke them all. Biletnikoff finished his FSU career with 87 receptions for 1,463 yards and 16 touchdowns, which were all school records at the time, and his number 25 jersey was retired as soon as his FSU career was completed.
Fred went on to become one of the finest receivers in the history of the NFL where he was a second round selection of the Oakland Raiders in 1965 playing 14 seasons, Fred played in six Pro Bowls, was the Most Valuable Player of Super Bowl XI and was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1988. He was later enshrined into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1991.
The Biletnikoff Trophy or Award was named after him and is the highest honor available to college receivers. It is presented annually to the nation’s most outstanding college football receiver.
Anquan Boldin, Florida’s Mr. Football in 1999, came to Tallahassee as one of the top-rated passers (and overall recruits) in the country. He had been promised by Bobby Bowden during his recruitment that he would be able to play quarterback, but after getting on campus and realizing his best chance at playing immediately would be by switching positions, he went to Bowden’s office and requested the change.
The move paid off. Though Boldin only caught 12 passes for 112 yards and two touchdowns in 1999 in addition to 55 kick return yards, the true freshman was able to get on the field in eight games for the eventual national champions. In his sophomore season, Boldin began to find his groove, tripling his touchdown total and putting up two 100-yard games en route to a season total 660 yards.
Graduations, academic ineligibility and a series of other unfortunate quarterback events led to a single quarterback, redshirt freshman Chris Rix, on FSU’s depth chart heading into the 2001 season, giving way to a legitimate path for Boldin to have been FSU’s starter. Alas, Boldin tore his ACL before the season started, missing the entire year.
His junior season was a revenge tour, putting up 1,011 yards and 13 touchdowns on 65 catches, and ended the way that his Florida State career began: under center. After Chris Rix was suspended for missing an exam and Fabian Walker struggled in the first half, throwing two interceptions with one being a pick six, Boldin was called in to throw live-action passes for only the second time since graduating high school. It almost paid off immediately:
He’d decide to skip his senior season and enter the draft, a move that proved to turn wise, though he would’ve been welcomed back in Tallahassee with big expectations. “When he came in to talk about playing that last season (2003),” Bobby Bowden said in 2017, “I told him if he stayed I was going to move him back to quarterback. I told him I thought he could win the Heisman. I thought he could be like Charlie Ward.” ‘Nole fans will never know.
Drafted in the second round by the Arizona Cardinals, Boldin would go on to win AP Offensive Rookie of the Year, a prelude to an illustrious career that saw him play in two Super Bowls and win one with the Baltimore Ravens in 2012, placing him amongst the 11 Seminoles that have won championships in both college and the NFL. If you asked him, though, his greatest accomplishment might have been being named Walter Payton Man of the Year in 2015, following years of community service through the Anquan Boldin Foundation, which aims to expand the educational and life opportunities of underprivileged children through summer enrichment programs, food drives, holiday shopping sprees and academic scholarships. He’s also added advocacy work to his service portfolio, helping co-found the Player’s Coalition to encourage athletes to be active citizens.
The 6’6” Greg Carr was both a football and basketball star in high school, but was largely overlooked by many programs until late in his recruitment. He made an immediate impact in Tallahassee, leading the Seminoles in yards per reception (20.6) and receiving touchdowns (nine) during his freshman season. In the process, Carr tied the ACC record for receiving touchdowns by a freshman previously held by tight end Heath Miller of Virginia. His superb debut season earned him second-team All-ACC and third-team freshman All-American.
During his sophomore year in 2006, he made 34 receptions for 619 yards and 12 touchdowns, helping him earn a second-team All-ACC selection. His 12 touchdowns landed him in a tie for fifth place on the all-time FSU single-season reception touchdown list. He pulled in this ridiculous catch to tie the game against 4th-ranked Florida in a tight contest:
During his junior campaign he set personal highs in receptions and yardage, pulling in 45 receptions for 795 yards and four touchdowns. As a senior, Carr caught 39 balls for 542 yards and four touchdowns, punctuated by this one-handed beauty in his final game, a huge bowl game win against Wisconsin:
The first portion of Carr’s career was compounded by frustrating offensive play calling from OC Jeff Bowden. Carr saved the Seminoles on many occasions by bringing down jump ball after jump ball, most of which were heavily contested. The sheer strength in that gangly frame was no joke, as Carr had an uncanny ability to snatch the ball out of the air and use his vice-like grip to hold on.
Carr finished his FSU career with 148 catches for 2,574 receiving yards (an average of 17.4 yards per catch) and 29 touchdowns. His career catches rank eight all-time, his yardage ranks sixth all-time, and he is still tied for second all-time in career receiving touchdowns, with his 12 touchdown season in 2006 tied for fifth all-time.
Thought Carr didn’t catch on in the NFL, he’s had a prolific career in the CFL and Arena Leagues. He tallied 117 receptions for 1,664 yards and 11 touchdowns in the CFL, and has added another 311 catches for 3,916 yards and 89 career touchdowns in the Arena League.
Part of the 1993 recruiting class, Cooper came out of Fletcher High as USA Today’s football player of the year, as well as the runner-up for the title of Florida’s Mr. Basketball (he’d play a few games at FSU before focusing solely on football). As a freshman, he contributed sparingly for the eventual national champions, appearing in five games (blowouts vs. Kansas, Georgia Tech, Virginia, Clemson and NC State) and catching eight balls for 111 yards. In 1994, Cooper took a step up as a touchdown threat, leading the team in scores with five despite trailing team leader Kez McCorvey (who had 870 yards) by 511 receiving yards, but it was nothing compared to what was set to come the year after.
Only three FSU receivers have ever caught more passes in a season than Andre Cooper (Ron Sellers, Rashad Greene twice, and Kez McCorvey.) Cooper’s 71 receptions (in only 11 games) in 1995 is one of the great receiving years in FSU history, and only one other FSU wideout has caught as many touchdowns in a season as Cooper’s 15 scoring grabs that same year (Kelvin Benjamin in 2013). Cooper stands at 7th in career receiving touchdowns and scored three touchdowns in a game twice (in 1995 vs. N.C. State and at Notre Dame in 1996). Calls for “COOOOOOOOP” ringing out from the stands in Doak Campbell Stadium followed nearly every play he made in the garnet and gold.
Relentless until the echo of the whistle, Lawrence Dawsey was a coach’s dream. He gave 100% effort on every single play, whether he was being targeted or not, and always showed up when it mattered most. It was this mindset that elevated Dawsey from from a running back recruit out of Dothan, Alabama, to one of the greatest wide receivers to ever don garnet and gold.
Dawsey was an impact player fairly early in his college career. As a sophomore, he would record just 18 receptions in seven games played. Pretty pedestrian, right? Well, nine of those catches were for touchdowns with a long of 93 yards. Dawsey had emerged as a bona fide deep threat and began to elevate all other aspects of his game, leading to an All-American honorable mention in his third year.
Building off this success, it was Dawsey’s senior year that would go down as his most impressive. He recorded 65 receptions for 999 yards in a passing attack that featured numerous weapons. Dawsey tacked on seven more touchdowns that year, including his most memorable play as a Seminole, this 76-yard score on FSU’s second play from scrimmage against the Gators:
Dawsey’s last four games of that 1990 season are among the greatest four-game stretches for a wideout in Florida State history. His 553 yards and five touchdowns to end the season helped the senior earn first-team All-American honors.
Dawsey would be selected in the third-round by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and would go on to win Sports’ Illustrated’s NFL Rookie of the Year. He enjoyed a seven year NFL career before getting into coaching. He would eventually return to his Alma Mater as FSU’s wide receivers coach, where he finally won the national championship that eluded him in his playing days.
During FSU’s decade of dominance, there was arguably no better duo at one position than Peter Warrick and Ron Dugans.
A Tallahassee native, Dugans was a three-sport star at FAMU High School in football, basketball, and track, winning a state title in the triple jump with a mark of 47’2”. Dugans decided to join the legendary 1995 recruiting class at Florida State that included names like Dan Kendra, Walter Jones, Dexter Jackson, Mario Edwards, Jason Whitaker, and the other half of the future dynamic duo. Despite a loaded offensive roster, Dugans’ ability at wideout were immediately apparent and helped him appear in all 22 games his true freshman and sophomore years. However, an injury forced him to take a medical redshirt in 1997—the year that would become Warrick’s breakout campaign.
Instead of letting the injury derail his promising career, Dugans came back better than ever in 1998, turning into a reliable first down and scoring threat who had a knack for winning one-on-one battles downfield and preventing teams from focusing too much attention on Warrick. During that 1998 season, Dugans was second on the team in receptions, yards, and receiving touchdowns. And as would be the case for both his junior and senior seasons, Dugans was at his best in the biggest games.
Returning for his senior season, Dugans helped the Seminoles take care of unfinished business by becoming the first team in college football history to be ranked number 1 in the pre-season poll, the final poll, and every poll in between. And just like the year prior, Dugans saved his best for last. His 63 yard catch and “not gonna catch him” run gave the Seminoles a working margin of 14 early in the second quarter.
Dugans then gave FSU a 4th quarter lead it would never relinquish with his second touchdown of the game:
For his career, Dugans would finish with more than 100 receptions and over 1,500 yards, and that doesn’t include his combined 11 catches for 234 yards and two TDs in two national title games (the NCAA did not start counting bowl game stats until 2002 and, because they are the NCAA, they refuse to retroactively count those accumulated by players prior to that year). After graduating from FSU, Dugans became a 3rd-round selection for the Cincinnati Bengals, where he’d play in 46 games over the next three seasons. Upon retiring from the NFL, Dugans embarked on a successful coaching career that eventually brought him back home to Tallahassee as WR coach.
After redshirting during FSU’s 1993 national championship season, E.G. Green saw action in 7 games in 1994, including grabbing 4 balls for 74 yards against UF in the Fifth Quarter in the French Quarter. In 1995, nabbing the starting position opposite Andre Cooper, Green exploded onto the national scene. Green proved to be a big play all threat all season long as he racked up 1,007 yards and 10 touchdowns on just 60 receptions.
This was a prelude to his five catch, 99-yard, one TD performance against Notre Dame in FSU’s epic Orange Bowl victory, featuring Green’s late-game, 4th-down reception that kept the comeback hope alive for the garnet and gold.
Green’s 1996 numbers took a dip as FSU’s offense used Warrick Dunn as its focal point, but the junior still hauled in seven scores and 662 yards on just 34 receptions. Showing he could still be a home run threat when needed, Green recorded 156 yards and two first-half touchdowns on just five catches against the Clemson Tigers in a 34-3 blowout.
With Dunn off to the NFL, Green was once again a premier component of Florida State’s offense during the 1997 season. While many remember 1997 as the year a another Warrick burst onto the national scene, it was the senior Green who taught the budding superstar what it meant to show up consistently, every route, every game. On the year, Green led FSU in receptions, yards, and touchdowns, while also setting fashion trend among late-90s FSU receivers with his classic knee-high socks (dang, those guys made that look good).
The play of E.G. Green was crucial to FSU’s success during the latter part of the Dynasty Years. Not only did Green record an amazing thirteen 100-yard receiving games, but he was the first Seminole in history to have a 100-yard receiving game in four consecutive seasons. When E.G. Green completed his career at FSU, he left as the Seminoles’ all-time leader in receiving touchdowns with 29, second in career receiving yardage with 2,920, third in career receptions with 166, and first in consecutive games with at least one receptions in 39 straight games.
Green caught two touchdowns in five games, three touchdowns in one game, and had two seasons with over 1,000 reception yards. His receiving skills were tantamount to the ‘Noles amassing an incredible 42-5-1 during his four years as a contributor. Even today, Green’s name is still prominent in the FSU record books. He is still tied for second in career touchdowns, ranked fourth in career receiving yardage, and ranked sixth in career receptions.
And of course, what a way to go out! In his last game as a Seminole, Green gained 176 yards on seven catches with one touchdown and was named MVP of the 1998 Sugar Bowl, when the ‘Noles stomped the Ohio State Buckeyes 31-14. His senior year, Green was named as a 2nd Team All-American by the AP and the Football News before being drafted with the 71st overall pick in the 1998 NFL draft by the Indianapolis Colts, where he played for three seasons.
A speedy wide receiver originally from Albany, Georgia, Rashad Greene would burst onto the scene playing for Florida high school power house St. Thomas Aquinas. Greene’s 148 yards and two touchdowns in the 2010 State title game against Plant, including a game-sealing 74 yard reception, would foreshadow things to come for the talented wide out.
From the moment Greene stepped on campus, he was special. He would become known for not only his big-play ability, but his consistency as a pass-catcher. It’s not often that a freshman leads a team in receiving, but Greene did, and produced the first of many clutch plays in his career with one of the loudest moments in Doak Campbell Stadium history:
Greene would be FSU’s top receiver again as a sophomore, while also taking on punt return duties. Adding his 307 return yards for two scores to his 741 yards receiving, Greene eclipsed 1000 all-purpose yards, earning him an All-American honorable mention.
In 2013, Greene, along with Kelvin Benjamin, Nick O’Leary, and Kenny Shaw, would make up one of the most talented receiving corps in the nation. Even with Jameis Winston spreading the wealth among the plethora of talent in FSU’s offense and being slightly overshadowed by Benjamin’s breakout year, Greene still led the pack in receiving yards and receptions. Greene was Mr. Reliable, coming through when the lights shined the brightest. He silenced Death Valley in the biggest game in ACC history:
And while everyone has Kelvin Benjamin’s touchdown catch engraved in their minds, this remarkable catch and run (and uncalled horse-collar tackle penalty) from Greene set it all up:
After the departure of Benjamin and Shaw, Greene would be the only returning receiver with any meaningful playing time heading into the 2014 season. Shouldering the load for the entire unit, he produced his most statistically impressive season yet. Greene’s 99 catches not only led the team— if you combine all the receptions from every other receiver that year, they amount to 101 total. Greene also led the team in receiving yards with 1,365, more than the top three receivers behind him combined.
With Jameis Winston sidelined and Sean Maguire leading FSU against the other top team in the ACC, FSU was in desperate need of a score to tie the game against Clemson late in the fourth quarter. No problem. Just chuck it to number 80:
When it was all said and done, Greene would finish his career at Florida State atop nearly every receiving record. He finished as the school’s all-time career leader in both receptions and receiving yards and finished tied for second in all-time career receiving touchdowns. His 99 catch senior campaign sits atop the single-season receptions list, and his 1,365 receiving yards is good for second all-time for a single season. His 76 reception 2013 season is good for third all-time and the 1,128 yards sit at eight. His 13 catch performance against Virginia Tech is tied for 5th all-time in one game.
“Jet” didn’t pile up gaudy numbers of receptions and wasn’t FSU’s most consistent producer at wide receiver, but, man, could he devastate an opponent with a big play. Hester averaged a whopping 19.6 yards per catch in his FSU career, second only to Barry Smith. By far Hester’s biggest play — and best game — came in 1984 at Miami. With FSU clinging to a 9-0 third-quarter lead, Hester took a patented Bobby Bowden-called reverse 77 yards for a touchdown. He would add another run of 25 yards to go over 100 yards rushing AND receiving (5 catches for 116 yards) in an all-time great performance.
Hester finished his time in Tallahassee with 107 catches for 2,100 yards and 21 touchdowns, which is tied for 8th on FSU’s all-time list. One wonders why Hester did not return kickoffs more often — his lone return in the 1983 season went for 64 yards. He would return only 2 more kickoffs the rest of his career.
Hassan Jones, out of Clearwater, played for the Seminoles from 1982 to 1985, totaling 1,764 receiving yards and 17 receiving touchdowns while garnering a first-team All-South Independent selection and an honorable mention from the AP after the 1985 season. To cap off his career, Jones was the 120th player selected in the 1986 NFL Draft.
Kez McCorvey wasn’t as fast or quick or big or strong as other Seminoles wideouts, but he could consistently get open and catch the ball. A 6’1” receiver from Gautier, Mississippi, McCorvey made his way to Tallahassee in 1990, when he redshirted behind star wideout Lawrence Dawsey. He began contributing — and starting — in his redshirt-freshman season of 1991, averaging 14.4 yards per catch on 18 receptions. 1992 saw McCorvey break out with a three-TD performance in the opener against Duke. He and Tamarick Vanover formed a stellar threat out wide that year, as both eclipsed 500 receiving yards. McCorvey found the end zone six times that season, including on fourth down at Georgia Tech, when his slick move created the game-winning score in crunch time.
McCorvey really began etching his name into ’Nole history the next year as he caught 74 balls for 966 yards in the 1993 national championship season, still good for fourth all-time at FSU for catches in one season. He authored 100-yard receiving games against Kansas, Maryland, and most notably Notre Dame in what was dubbed the “Game of the Century.”
He repeated his 1993 all-conference achievement in 1994, when he returned to school for his redshirt-senior season and again led the Florida State WR corps, this time with 59 grabs for 870 yards. He posted another trio of 100 yard games, including his career high of 207 against Duke, still the 10th highest output for any ’Nole WR, ever. McCorvey’s six 100-yard games in his career were amazing, but his last such effort? 127 receiving yards against the Gators, a key part of FSU’s legendary fourth-quarter comeback from a 31-3 deficit in the “Choke at Doak.” McCorvey saved his best performances on the big stage against the hated Gators. In the three games played vs. UF in 1993 and 1994 (two regular season games and the Sugar Bowl), McCorvey combined for 20 catches for 283 yards and three TD’s.
McCorvey is still fourth on the career receptions list, proving how indispensable he was to the Seminole’s devastating passing attack during his years in Tallahassee. It’s too bad they don’t keep stats for catches for first downs, because McCorvey would still surely be at or near the top in that category. The Detroit Lions chose McCorvey in the fifth round of the 1995 NFL Draft. A decade later, he was inducted into the Florida State Hall of Fame.
Marvin “Snoop” Minnis
Marvin “Snoop” Minnis was a big part of one of the most successful recruiting classes in FSU football history, which played in three consecutive national championship games. While he shared targets with other Seminole wide receiver greats like Peter Warrick, Ron Dugans, and Anquan Boldin, FSU’s number 13 was dangerous every time he stepped on the field. Fans and former opponents will remember him for his electric speed and the chants of 80,000 people in Doak Campbell Stadium: “SNOOOOOOOP!”
A Miami Northwestern product, Snoop caught a total of 52 balls for 758 yards and 6 touchdowns during his first three seasons as part of a strong rotation of wideouts. He surpassed all of those numbers in an incredible senior year, which saw him haul in 63 passes for 1,340 yards and 11 touchdowns. He earned first team All-American and All-ACC honors, and was also named a finalist for the Fred Biletnikoff Award. His senior season total remains third on FSU’s single-season receiving yardage list.
Minnis’ 2000 season saw an all-time moment against Clemson, when he reeled in a 98-yard touchdown off of a perfect play-action fake by Chris Weinke. He finished the evening with 163 yards in a 54-7 win over the tenth-ranked Tigers.
Later that year, the Weinke-Minnis connection produced another play worthy of inclusion on last summer’s countdown by icing a home win against Florida. After a first-quarter 34-yard touchdown catch to put the ‘Noles up 14-7, Weinke found Snoop for 51 yards down the right sideline to make the score 27-7. The Seminoles’ 30-7 win ultimately vaulted them into their third consecutive national championship game appearance.
Unfortunately, Snoop’s Florida State career ended with a disappointment, as he was ruled academically ineligible to play in the title game against Oklahoma. This left the ‘Noles without one of their best players and we all know how that turned out. Minnis was drafted in the third round of the NFL draft by the Chiefs, but ultimately caught only 34 passes in two NFL seasons before moving to the CFL for the 2005 season. Regardless, Minnis will always spark fond memories in Florida State fans as an exciting contributor in a glorious era.
Bert Reed may be the unlikeliest member of the Top 5 in all-time receptions for FSU, but that’s just fine with him. A scrappy player who was used to being overlooked due to his size, Reed carved out a highly-productive career in Tallahassee under the tutelage of Lawrence Dawsey and Jimbo Fisher.
Reed eased into his first season, catching 23 passes for 295 yards and three touchdowns. His sophomore campaign was a coming-out party, seeing Reed snag 60 balls for 710 yards, both career bests, though both of his touchdowns that season came on the ground. Reed’s junior season was another strong effort, with 58 passes caught for 614 yards and two touchdowns.
Reed’s numbers in catches (29) and yardage (403) dipped in his senior season, but he doubled his career touchdown output, notching five in 2011. He’d also established a reputation as being unafraid to go across the middle and make difficult catches, often while taking tough hits.
Reed ranks fifth all-time in career receptions (170) for 2,022 yards and 10 touchdowns, while adding another 243 yards rushing and three touchdowns on the ground. He served as a reliable and important member of the wide receiving unit that helped set the Seminoles up for major success in the first half of the 2010’s.
A cousin to special teams gawd Devin Hester, Travis Rudolph signed with FSU as one of the highest-rated prep wide receiver prospects in Seminole history, and he made sure to leave an impact in Tallahassee by the time he was done. By the end of his true freshman season, Rudolph had developed into a bona fide No. 2 receiver and finished with 38 receptions for 555 yards and four touchdowns, earning multiple Freshman All-American honors. This touchdown catch against Lousville jump-started the Seminoles’ comeback effort in a tight victory:
Rudolph followed his first campaign up by leading the team in receptions (59), receiving yards (916) and touchdown receptions (7) as a sophomore, all single-season career bests for number 15, earning second team All-ACC honors from the media. He notched a 7 catch, 201 yard, one touchdown game in the Orange Bowl against Houston, setting a FSU record for receiving yardage in a bowl. He also recorded his first career 100-yard game inside Doak Campbell Stadium against Syracuse, finishing with five receptions for 191 yards and three touchdowns, 172 of which came in the first half. He also made one of my personal favorite catch-and-run touchdowns in FSU history with this 75-yard baptism:
Rudolph was Florida State’s top receiver for a second-consecutive season, finished his junior (and final) season with 56 catches for 840 yards and seven receiving touchdowns. Rudolph left FSU with a streak of 35 games recording at least one catch and recorded his second career 200-yard receiving game against Wake Forest on Oct. 15, catching 13 balls for 238 yards (4th in FSU history), becoming one of just three players (Ron Sellers, Craphonso Thorpe) with multiple 200-yard receiving games in a career. He also notched the game-winning touchdown catch against NC State that season:
In total, Rudolph finished with 153 catches (good for 7th all-time) for 2,311 yards (8th all-time) and 18 touchdowns. He declared for the NFL draft after his junior campaign, going undrafted but later being signed by the New York Giants.
At 6-foot-4, 184 pounds, Ron Sellers seemed to be more suited for basketball than football. He was, in fact, All-State in the sport in high school, and felt that he might’ve opted to play the sport in college instead of football had he been a little bit less thin. “But people kept telling me I was too light to play football; that I’d get killed,” he said to Sports Illustrated. “It made me mad and I decided I’d show everybody. And so when FSU offered me a football scholarship, I took it.” Thus, “Jingle Joints” became a Seminole Legend, and is still the second-most prolific pass catcher in Florida State history.
Despite wrapping his career in 1968 and playing in only 30 games, Sellers still finds his name dotted all over the FSU all-time receiving record book, mainly in either first or second place on whichever list you look at. Sellers caught 212 passes for 3,598 yards from 1966-68 while averaging 119.9 receiving yards per game over his career. He caught a pass in 30 consecutive games and was a consensus All-American as a junior in 1967. Sellers led the nation with 1,228 yards, finished second with 70 receptions, and scored eight touchdowns as a junior. He followed that up with 86 receptions for 1,496 yards and 12 scores as a senior, earning numerous All-American honors. He caught at least 13 passes in a game seven times, had 18 100-yard receiving games, and five 200-yard days during his FSU career.
The top four single-game reception marks are all owned by Sellers, and he holds six of the top 12 performances in FSU history. Of his five spots in the top 10 single-game receiving yards performance, he holds spot one and two. He is also the only Seminole to score five receiving touchdowns in a single game, which came against Wake Forest in 1968. Sellers also had a massive performance against the South Carolina Gamecocks in 1968, who would cancel their usual matchups with the Seminoles shortly thereafter.
Ron Sellers was one of the finest receivers in the history of college football and many of his records still hold up despite the pass happy offenses that started being used during the 1990s onwards. Sellers was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1988 and his number 34 jersey was retired by the athletics department in 1968. He was a first-round draft pick by the Boston Patriots in 1969. Among all of his accolades, he’ll always hold a special place in the hearts of Seminole fans for this 38-yard touchdown against the Florida Gators that gave FSU its first-ever win in Gainesville.
Kenny Shaw is STILL raw. How many guys do you know who could not only rebound from a hit like this, but go on to THRIVE? Talk about toughness:
Shaw came to Tallahassee as a skinny kid from Orlando, but proved to be an extremely tough and consistent weapon for Jimbo Fisher’s offense. Though he only caught three balls for 36 yards as a freshman, one was his first career-touchdown, coming against Wake Forest. As a sophomore, he finished third on the team with 34 catches and tied for third with four touchdowns, all coming during a huge stretch at the start of ACC play where he hauled in a touchdown pass in four of FSU’s first five conference games. As a junior, Shaw ranked third on the team with 33 receptions and 532 yards to go along with three touchdowns, including a career-high 77-yard touchdown reception on FSU’s opening drive against Boston College, in E.J. Manuel’s final season.
It would be his senior season, coinciding with Jameis Winston’s first season as a starter, when Shaw upped his production. The veteran slot receiver was the veteran leader of Florida State’s receiving corps and tied for second on Seminoles in receptions (54) and was third in receiving yards (933). Shaw also returned punts, ranking sixth in the ACC with a 9.7 average, and finished second on the team with 1,204 all-purpose yards. Shaw made one of the most spectacular plays of the entire college football season with an incredible 55-yard touchdown grab as time expired in the first half at Boston College, helping FSU take a 24-17 lead into the break:
Shaw was a member of the Florida State Seminoles from 2010 to 2013 and was a big piece of taking the Seminoles to the college football mountaintop in his senior campaign. During his time at FSU, he won 3 ACC Atlantic division titles (2010, 2012 and 2013), 2 ACC conference championships (2012 and 2013) and 1 BCS National Championship (2013). In 2013, he was selected to the Coaches All-ACC Third-team in his senior season. Kenny Shaw ranks in the top 20 in FSU history in receiving yards (1,919) and receptions (124), with 14 touchdowns in his career.
Tallahassee native Mike Shumann set records for pass receptions and yardage gained during his years at Florida State, 1973-75 and 1977. His best season at Florida State was 1974 when he grabbed 43 passes for 515 yards. In 1975 he topped that yardage gained collecting 38 catches for 730 yards. Returning in 1977 after a one year absence, he finished his senior year as the second leading receiver with 33 receptions for 701 yards.
Shumann set then-FSU career records for receptions and yardage during his years at Florida State, finishing with 135 receptions for 2,326 yards and 16 touchdowns. His reception and yardage totals are still in the top ten of FSU’s all-time lists. His efforts earned him first team All-South Independent honors. Shumann went on to play in the 1981 Super Bowl with San Francisco.
The name Barry Smith may not be known to many Seminole fans, but he is ranked sixth for most career touchdown receptions with 25, and seventh in career reception yardage with 2,392. When he graduated, Smith was ranked second (behind Ron Sellers) in virtually every receiving category in the FSU record books. From 1970-72, Smith snatched the football for the Seminoles with remarkable precision.
In his senior year, Smith caught 69 passes for 1,243 yards and 13 touchdowns. This puts him Seminole record books at eight in number of receptions, fourth for total reception yardage, and tied for third for receiving touchdowns in a single season. He caught 11 passes against Kansas and 10 against Virginia Tech and Florida, and was named first team All-American on squads selected by several groups including the annual Football Coaches team. Smith was an enormous piece of the Seminole offense during his career.
Smith went on to play with both the Green Bay Packers and Tampa Bay Buccaneers and has remained a loyal supporter of FSU athletics. The office complex that housed the FSU softball and soccer offices was even named after him and his wife.
“Scary” Terry only played for Florida State for two full seasons (and parts of a third), but in that time he made a strong impact, setting a FSU freshman reception yardage record (744). He accumulated 118 receptions for 2,221 yards (10th in FSU history) and 18 touchdowns (13th in FSU history). Terry was a big play waiting to happen, actually averaging a touchdown every 6.55 receptions, and he holds the FSU record with five 70+ yard receiving touchdowns. His average of 49 yards per touchdown reception was the second-highest among NCAA receivers with at least 15 touchdowns over the past decade, and his nine 50+ yard touchdowns tied for the second-highest total in the ACC over the last 15 years. He proved clutch for the Seminoles numerous times, including this game-winner against Boston College:
Terry accomplished these numbers in a difficult stretch for FSU football, often fighting against double coverage and relying on subpar quarterback play. His combination of size and speed was a rarity, with defensive backs often underestimating how fast Terry could sprint. Terry often bailed out his QBs with acrobatic catches or significant YAC on easier completions. When a throw was on target, though, he could easily take it to the house.
Craphonso Thorpe was a local star for Tallahassee’s Lincoln High School, playing wide receiver and cornerback for a program that won a state championship in his junior season while also accumulating medals in track. He stayed home to play for FSU, and saw action in 25 games as a freshman and sophomore, totaling 62 catches for 663 yards and five touchdowns. He also returned 37 kicks for 783 yards in those first two seasons.
His junior season was his most productive, where Thorpe tallied 51 receptions for 994 yards and 11 touchdowns. Thorpe had four different games in which he scored two touchdowns, but he absolutely exploded in two of those games. Thorpe caught eight balls for 205 yards and two touchdowns against Colorado, then exceeded that effort with a seven catch, 217 yard, two touchdown performance against Notre Dame that saw the Seminoles avenge the prior season’s defeat and destroy the Irish in South Bend, 37-0.
Sadly, the Thorpe’s 2003 breakthrough season would be cut short against NC State with a horrible leg injury. The injury occurred while Thorpe was blocking on a running play near the sideline. A linebacker attempting to make a tackle rolled over the back of Thorpe’s right leg, snapping both his tibia and fibula. Despite the unceremonious end, Thorpe was still a Biletnikoff finalist for his efforts. A dip in production occurred in his senior year, but Thorpe still managed 40 catches for nearly 500 yards and two touchdowns.
Thorpe finished his career at FSU with 123 catches for 2,153 yards (good for an average of 17.5 yards per catch) and 18 touchdowns. His career receiving yardage total is still 10th in FSU history, and his 217-yard output against the Irish ranks seventh among FSU all-time single-game reception yardage totals.
After Lawrence Dawsey’s All-America accolades ceased in 1990 and he went pro, no Seminole WR revitalized his role until Tamarick Vanover stepped up in 1992. And he wasted little time in doing so, leading FSU receivers with 42 catches for 581 yards and four scores that season. Vanover was also a revelation as a kick returner. The Tallahassee native and Leon High graduate authored an astounding freshman return campaign: 8 returns for 413 yards— an average of 51.6 yards per return. That’s not a typo.
Vanover is included in the record books for his two return touchdowns in ’92, a 96-yarder against Wake Forest and a 94-yarder against the Miami Hurricanes, which remain tied with Kermit Whitfield for the season- and career-high among all Seminoles returners. The same year, he helped the ’Noles to a 45-24 trouncing of UF by returning three kicks for 181 yards, including an 80-yarder, good for an average of 60.3 yards-per-return on that day, which remains a school single-game record. This was a prelude to his career return numbers, which are staggering: 13 returns for 523 yards, an average of 40.2 yards per return. The low number of returns doesn’t allow him entry into the record books but the impact speaks for itself- no Seminole in history flipped the field like Tamarick Vanover.
Vanover’s 43 receptions for 519 yards and three scores factored largely into the Seminoles’ first national title in 1993. He was honored as a second-team All-American by The Sporting News and a second-team sophomore All-American per Football News. He also earned a third-team All-ACC nod. After the ’93 title run, Vanover tried to become eligible for the NFL Draft, but was denied, since he’d finished only his true sophomore season. Instead, he went to the Las Vegas Posse of the CFL for a season before the Kansas City Chiefs made him a third-round selection in the 1995 NFL Draft. He was a consensus NFL All-Rookie selection that year.
You know his name, a name that still makes opposing defensive coaches in the late 90’s wake up with night sweats. The first, and arguably most famous “make you miss” man in college football history, is Florida State’s Peter Warrick.
Warrick could make three defenders miss in a phone booth; hop into another phone booth and make three more kiss the ground.
As good as he was with the ball in his hands; he was equally as good without it. An excellent route runner, Warrick was almost always open by a good one to two yards. If he happened to be covered, he had no issues leaping over the top of the defender to make a catch, landing like a cat and waltzing into the end zone for a touchdown while said defender fell down in a feeble attempt to keep him from scoring.
As a senior, Warrick caught 71 passes for 934 yards and eight touchdowns, averaged 13.2 yards per reception, and also ran for 96 yards on 16 carries and three touchdowns. Warrick was a dangerous punt returner who averaged 12.6 yards on 18 returns and scored one TD. He lined up behind center several times during the season and ran for two scores while at quarterback and also threw for a touchdown. Warrick carried a school record streak of 40 straight games with at least one catch into the glorious 1999 Sugar Bowl, then dazzled by setting a then-bowl record with three touchdowns and adding a two point conversion.
He was selected in the first round of the NFL draft by the Cincinnati Bengals and while his professional career didn’t match his college years, Warrick will always be among the first names mentioned whenever the debate of “Best Seminoles of All-Time” starts up.
Quarterbacks: Charlie Ward, Chris Weinke, Jameis Winston, Jordan Travis
Running Backs: Warrick Dunn, Dalvin Cook, Greg Allen, Amp Lee