Florida State has one of the most passionate fan bases of any team in the country. They get behind their team and support them during their time at FSU. When a player has a back story to them, the fans will pull for their success even more. Warrick Dunn is considered one of the top fan favorites in Seminole history, but that is not why he made this list. Dunn is the best running back FSU has ever had, and he was an instrumental figure during FSU's dynasty run in the mid-1990's. Dunn's career at FSU made him one of the best college players the game has seen over the past 25 years.
Dunn's four-year career at FSU established him as one of the most popular players in all of college football and the finest running back in the 60-year history of Florida State football. Dunn is the only Seminole ever to rush for more than 1,000 yards in three consecutive seasons.
Football powerhouses such as Florida State and LSU recruited Dunn, even though at 5' 8", 180 pounds he was considered too small to be a college running back. Dunn was a father figure to his five siblings while his mother had to juggle several jobs and double shifts as a police officer, so Dunn cooked the meals, cleaned the house, and took care of the children.
Then, just two days after celebrating his eighteenth birthday, Dunn's maturity and survival skills faced the ultimate challenge. His mother was escorting a grocery-store manager to a bank to make a deposit when two gunmen appeared and fired. She was dead before she could react, and Warrick Dunn and his siblings were left without a parent.
At FSU, Dunn made a name for himself. He provided fans with some of the most memorable moments in FSU football history. Dunn never wanted the attention that came with being such a high profile player. For Warrick, it was his job to be in college because he had to help his family. After four years he graduated with a degree in information studies, but his work on the football field was incredible. He finished as the all-time rushing leader in FSU history with 3,959 yards, and scored 47 touchdowns, another school record.
His 3,959 career rushing yards broke Greg Allen's school record set in 1984. Dunn also broke Allen's single season rushing record when he ran for 1,242 yards as a junior in 1995. Dunn has the record for most touchdowns scored in a career with 49 over four seasons and rushed for over 100 yards more times (21) than any player at FSU. He was a three-time All-ACC selection as well as a member of the ACC all-academic team. He was selected to the first team Football Writer's All-America squad as a senior and second team Associated Press honors that same year.
No one before or since has been the running back Dunn was for FSU. He was a playmaker in every facet of the game. Dunn's jersey is the first to be retired by Florida State, an honor that's surprising when you look at the numerous collegiate stars FSU has had. His number (#28) may be worn in the future by FSU players, but his jersey will always be displayed in the Moore Athletic Center along with the five previously retired numbers.
Stay tuned to NoleDigest as we track our top 10 players in FSU history when we release the player who comes in as the 6th best player to don the Garnet and Gold.