Florida State football’s Garnet and Gold Spring Game presented by Whataburger will feature four NFL alumni serving as guest coaches for the Main Event, head coach Mike Norvell announced Wednesday.
This year’s guest coaches are Peter Boulware, Danny Kanell, EJ Manuel and Bryant McFadden. The quartet has combined to play 27 years in the NFL after earning a total of nine ACC championships and one national title at FSU.
“I am excited for the opportunity to welcome back all of our football alumni this weekend and to spotlight these four incredible individuals,” Norvell said. “They all earned individual and team success while here at Florida State, and they have all gone on to make an impact in their professional careers as well. I appreciate their commitment to this program and their passion for this university. We are going to enjoy having them around our program this weekend, and I’m looking forward to seeing them call plays during the Main Event.”
Boulware is one of the most successful pass rushers in program history, holding the FSU single-season record with 19.0 sacks in 1996 and ranking second on the career list with 34.0 sacks in three seasons. He was a Consensus All-American, ACC Defensive Player of the Year and a first-team all-conference performer in 1996 when he helped lead Florida State to a perfect regular season and an appearance in the Sugar Bowl. The Columbia, South Carolina, native was inducted into the Florida State Athletics Hall of Fame in 2004.
He was selected fourth overall in the 1997 NFL Draft by the Baltimore Ravens and was named Defensive Rookie of the Year in his first professional season. Boulware earned four Pro Bowl selections during his nine-year career and won Super Bowl XXXV with the Ravens. He finished his NFL career with a Baltimore franchise-record 70.0 sacks, 401 tackles, including 129.0 for loss, 14 forced fumbles, five fumble recoveries and one interception in 126 games.
Kanell posted a 20-3-1 record with two first-team All-ACC recognitions as a starting quarterback under Bobby Bowden. Kanell, a Fort Lauderdale native, also led the Seminoles to two ACC titles and wins in the Sugar Bowl and Orange Bowl while breaking school records with 41 completions vs. Georgia Tech in 1995, seven 300-yard passing games in 1995 and three consecutive 300-yard passing games that same season. He was a second-team All-American and the ACC Player of the Year in 1995 after leading the conference with 2,957 passing yards, 32 passing touchdowns and a pass efficiency rating of 145.5. He was also was honored as a National Football Foundation Scholar-Athlete and recipient of the Post-Graduate Scholarship award in 1995.
After graduation, Kanell was selected in the fourth round of the 1996 NFL Draft by the New York Giants. He spent six years in the NFL and passed for 5,129 yards and 31 touchdowns. He started 10 games each in 1997 and 1998, passing for 11 touchdowns both years and leading the Giants to a 7-2-1 mark as a starter in 1997. That year, he led the Giants on three game-winning drives, the fifth-highest total in the league. Since his professional playing career ended, Kanell has been a national football analyst and currently hosts a morning show on SiriusXM’s ESPNU Radio in addition to appearances on CBS Sports HQ. Kanell was inducted into the Florida State Athletics Hall of Fame in 2012.
Manuel was an All-ACC quarterback his senior season and a two-time Academic All-ACC selection. He led the Seminoles to a 25-6 record as a starter, the fourth-most wins by a starting quarterback in program history, and was the second quarterback in NCAA history to win four consecutive bowl games. The Virginia Beach, Virginia, native still holds FSU’s career completion percentage record with a mark of 66.89 percent, tied for second in ACC history at the time, and ranks third in program history with 600 career completions and 8,563 yards of total offense while also ranking fourth with 7,736 career passing yards. His 3,392 passing yards, 3,702 yards of total offense and 263 completions in 2012 are third, fourth and fifth, respectively, on FSU’s single-season lists.
Manuel was selected 16th overall in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft by the Buffalo Bills and played five seasons in the NFL. He played four seasons in Buffalo before spending the 2017 season with the Oakland Raiders. In his career, Manuel started 18 games and passed for 3,757 yards with 20 touchdowns. He currently is an analyst with the ACC Network, where he appears on The Huddle, the network’s signature football show that airs Saturday mornings in the fall. He also co-hosts ACCN’s In Play and is a regular on ESPN’s College Football Live. Along with his ESPN duties, he also hosts College Sports Today on SiriusXM.
McFadden was an All-ACC defensive back who appeared in 48 games with 22 starts from 2000-04 and finished his career with 107 tackles, including 3.0 for loss with four interceptions, three forced fumbles and 26 pass breakups. He started all 12 games his senior season and made 36 tackles, 2.5 for loss, one interception and nine pass breakups while being recognized as a second-team All-ACC performer. The Hollywood, Florida, native was a second-round pick by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 2005 NFL Draft and played seven seasons in the NFL.
McFadden won Super Bowl XL and Super Bowl XLIII in addition to earning a third Super Bowl appearance in Super Bowl XLV. He appeared in 96 games with 51 starts throughout his professional career and recorded 303 tackles, including 5.0 for loss, nine interceptions, seven fumble recoveries, four forced fumbles and 47 pass breakups. His three fumble recoveries in 2007 ranked seventh in the NFL that season. He is currently an analyst with CBS Sports HQ and hosts All Things Covered with eight-time Pro Bowl selection Patrick Peterson.