Two National Championships. Two Heisman Trophy winners. The winningest coach in major college football history. The Dynasty Run from 1987 to 2000. All of the things help make Florida State the football program it has become today. While the Seminoles got their start later than some of the other traditional powers like USC, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Michigan and Alabama, FSU has produced some of the best players college football fans have ever seen.
NoleDigest decided to look at that rich history and determine who we think is the best player the Seminoles have ever had. We looked at their collegiate career, the awards and accolades they received and the success they had on the field for the Noles. The tie breaker (this list was very though to manufacture) was what these players did on the next level. As we head into fall camp NoleDigest will release a new name as we countdown to who is number 1.
In this installment we look at the top 5 guys who just missed the cut. Some of these names may shock people as it includes arguably the program's best lineman, a former walk-on and among other's a record setting running back.
5) Andre Wadsworth: He began his college career as a 215-pound walk on at Florida State University and became a highly touted prospect at defensive end, drafted 3rd overall by the Arizona Cardinals in 1998. He's the highest drafted Seminole in the program's history, which makes his career even more amazing. Wadsworth was recruited by only two small schools in Liberty and Bethune-Cookman out of high school, but he chose to walk-on to the team in 1993. He earned All-ACC 2nd team honors first two seasons as a defensive tackle, but gained most of his notoriety when he played defensive end his senior season. In 1997 he was named a consensus All-American and a Lombardi award finalist as he led the ACC with 16 sacks. Wadsworth finished his career with 223 tackles and 23 sacks. He was an absolute monster for FSU.
4) Jamie Dukes: As one of the finest lineman in FSU history, Dukes was a starter at Florida State for 4 years, starting all 48 games over his collegiate career. He played in the 1982 Gator Bowl, 1983 Peach Bowl, 1984 Citrus Bowl, and 1985 Gator Bowl. As a senior at FSU Dukes was named a consensus All-American and received almost every All-American honor available including Walter Camp, Football Writers, UPI, AP, Football News and NCAA Consensus awards. Dukes went onto an 11 year career in the NFL and was inducted into the FSU Hall of Fame in 1991.
3) Greg Allen: When Greg Allen left Florida State he was the school's All-Time leading rusher as he amassed 3,769 yards during his collegiate career. He still holds FSU's single game rushing record when he went for 322 yards against Western Carolina his freshman year. Additionally, Allen's 44 career rushing touchdown's is the torch barer that all running backs at FSU chase till this day. Allen left his name all over FSU's record books and was named a consensus All-American in 1983 when he rushed for 1,134 yards and 13 scores.
2) Terrell Buckley: Leaving "T-Buck" off the top 10 list was tough. The list of accomplishments and accolades Buckley gained over his collegiate career makes him one of the best cornerbacks over the past 25 years. Terrell was a two-year starter and three-year letterman at Florida State (1989-91). He holds all of FSU's interception records as he left as school's all-time leader in interceptions (21) and interception return yards (501). His career interception yardage total of 501 is an NCAA record also tied school records for touchdowns off interception returns (four) and punt returns (three). He was named first-team All-American and won Jim Thorpe Award, given annually to nation's top defensive back, as a junior. He led nation with an astonishing 12 interceptions for 238 yards and two touchdowns that season. 12 interceptions! Buckley was named second-team All-American by Associated Press and The Football News as a junior and earned consensus All-American honors in 1991. Buckley was a stellar athlete who played two years of varsity baseball and was a sprinter on the outdoor track team for one year. Drafted as the 5th overall pick in the 1992 draft, Buckley went on to a long and distinguished career before coming back as a coach on the current staff.
1) Chris Weinke: Some may look at this and think leaving a Heisman winning quarterback who won a BCS National Title off the top 10 is crazy. As tough as it was leaving Buckley off the list, leaving Weinke off was exponentially harder. Chris' career at FSU led to his jersey being retired and him earning the love and appreciation from FSU fans across the nation. He finished his Florida State career with a 32-3 record and held numerous FSU records including most passing yards in a career and most career touchdown passes. As a sophomore in 1998, Weinke led the Florida State Seminoles to a 9-1 record and #2 national ranking before a season-ending neck injury forced him to the sidelines. During his junior season in 1999, he led the #1 ranked 'Noles to their first undefeated season with a 12-0 record and the school's second national championship, defeating the Virginia Tech Hokies 46-29 in the Sugar Bowl. As a senior in 2000, Weinke led the nation in passing with 4,167 yards and won the Heisman Trophy, awarded to college football's best player, as well as the Davey O'Brien Award and the Johnny Unitas Award. As we'll see over the next 10 days, Weinke' time at FSU was great but he cannot be placed ahead of the guys who made NoleDigest's top 10 FSU players of All-Time.