Greatest Football Players in Florida State History

With a rich football tradition, the Florida State Seminoles are one of the most respected programs in college football. With three national championships, eighteen conference titles and six division titles they are one of the most successful programs in history. The program has produced 214 All-Americans which have helped to lead this great program. I’m not sure this year’s team will produce an all-time great, but here is a list of the top ten players to play for the Seminoles.

Deion Sanders

A great three sport athlete in college and perhaps the best corner back in NFL history, Deion ‘Prime Time’ Sanders got his start at FSU. He began starting as only a freshman and made an immediate impact. Deion was a two-time consensus All-American cornerback in 1987 and 1988. He won the Jim Thorpe Award in 1988 and was a standout his entire career. His great career saw him have his jersey at Florida State, #2 retired in 1995. He will go down as one of the best players in the school’s history.  This guy player in the NFL for quite a few teams, for the Reds in MLB, and says he was close to playing for the Hawks in the NBA.

Charlie Ward

A Heisman trophy winner, Charlie Ward may go down as the best quarterback in school history. He was Bowden‘s first black quarterback and was inducted in the College Football Hall of Fame in 2006. He led the Seminoles to their first-ever National Championship in 1993. He also was a two sport athlete and played in the NBA. Amazingly he is the only Heisman winner to not get taken in the NFL draft.

Warrick Dunn

One of the best running backs in FSU history, Warrick Dunn had a great collegiate career. He holds several Florida State rushing records including the mark for most career rushing yards at nearly 4,000 yards. He also holds the single season mark at 1,242 yards in a season. He had an amazing 12 year run in the NFL. A National Champion in 1993, his number 28 is retired as well.

Jameis Winston

The most recent star on this list, Jameis Winston had a super career at FSU. His first game was a sign of things to come. He threw 25 of 27 passes with four passing touchdowns along with a rushing touchdown against the University of Pittsburgh in his very first game. In 2014 he took the Seminoles on an incredible run in which they went 13-0. The lost in the Rose Bowl to Oregon. He finished his career 26–1 with 65 touchdowns.

Derrick Brooks

A superb linebacker Brooks played for the Florida State Seminoles football team from 1992 to 1994. He was an all American his junior and senior seasons. He is a national champion that finished his career with 274 tackles, five interceptions, 8.5 sacks.

Fred Biletnikoff

A member of the College Hall of Fame Biletnikoff was the first ever consensus All-American to play for the Seminoles. He played both offense and defense and for many years held the record for the longest return interception for a touchdown-99 yards, until it was broken in 1987 by Deion Sanders.

Sebastian Janikowski

Known as being one of the greatest kickers of all time Sebastian Janikowski had a great career at FSU. He was a two time All-American and is one of only a few kickers in history to be drafted in the first round. In just three seasons at FSU, he had a career scoring total of 324 points. Many view Janikowski as having the strongest leg in history and to have played for the best Florida State team ever.

Marvin Jones

Another great FSU linebacker, Marvin Jones was a standout in college. A consensus All American he lead the Seminoles to an amazing 21-3 over two years in the early 90’s. He was inducted into the FSU Hall of Fame in 2000.

Walter Jones

A standout at offensive tackle, Walter Jones started his collegiate career at Holmes Community College before transferring to FSU. He lead his team to the Sugar Bowl, allowing only one sack the entire season and was an All-ACC player.

Ron Simmons

Considered one of Florida State`s “greatest recruiting victories” Ron Simmons was a tremendous player in the late 70’s. The Seminoles were 39–8 during his stay. He helped the school earn back-to-back Orange Bowl trips and was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame in 2008.

The Career of All-Time Great Bobby Bowden

Few coaches have had the impact on college football that Florida State Head Coach Bobby Bowden has. For more than thirty years Bowden led the Seminoles to great success. During his time at FSU, Bowden led the seminoles to national championships in 1993 and in 1999. Bowden won an amazing twelve ACC championships and continued to coach until he as eighty years old. His impact is undeniable and his legacy will live on forever.

Bowden’s career began as an assistant football coach and head track and field coach at Howard College. His coaching career included stops at South Georgia College, and West Virginia University. From there he finally moved to Florida State where he would remain for the remainder of his career. Bowden took over a program that was struggling and originally only planned to stay short term until a better job came. His plans quickly changed.

During his 34 years as FSU’s head coach Bowden only had one losing season–his first, in 1976. His best teams were his 1993 and 1999 teams. Both won the National Championship. The 1999 team went undefeated and the 1993 team only lost once. It’s widely regarded as the best in Florida State history.  His overall career as a coach saw him complete 40 winning seasons. He coached Florida State to 14 straight seasons with 10 or more victories.

During his career Bowden earned several awards. In 1980 he was awarded Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year Award, an award given to he Division I Football Bowl Subdivision head coach whose team excels on the field, in the classroom, and in the community. In 1992 he won the Walter Camp Coach of the Year Award. He even had an award named after him. In 2010 the first ever Bobby Bowden National Collegiate Coach of the Year Award was given in his honor.

He had many great players go through the program.  Many of them had successful NFL careers.  Most would say he helped them become men.

Bowden is a committed Christian and credits his faith for his success in football. He was presented in 2004 with a special award by the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. The award was initiated by a former assistant and recognizes one college football player for achievements on the field, in the classroom and in the community. Furthermore Bowden is an active philanthropist. In 2011, he received the Children’s Champion Award for Leadership Development. Given by the Children’s Hunger Fund, the award recognized Bowden’s philanthropic efforts.

Bobby Bowden has had a career worthy of great praise. He took a bad Florida State Football program and turned them into a consistent winner.  He helped groom Jimbo Fisher and will be there for this year’s team in whatever capacity he is needed. He has held high standards both on and off the field and his legacy will be appreciated for many years to come.

Greatest Football Teams in Florida State History

Over the years the Florida State Football program has had great success. Led for many of those years by Bobby Bowden, the team has become a national contender on a yearly basis. They won a number of championships and contend for the ACC title almost every year. The number of successful players who have come through the university make a very long list.

Can this year’s team make the list?  We think so.  They just need a few small upsets.Here is a look at the most successful Florida State teams throughout history.


The 2014 Seminoles, led by Jimbo Fisher saw a continuation of the previous years success. Entering the season as the defending national champion, FSU kept right on with their winning ways. They finished the season at 13-1, losing in the Rose Bowl to Oregon. 2013 Heisman winner Jameis Winston had a tremendous season helping his team to overcome several close games late.


Led by fourth year head coach Jimbo Fisher, FSU would go through the 2013 season undefeated and would eventually win the national championship. This squad was led at quarterback by Jameis Winston who would go on to win the Heisman Trophy that year. This Florida State Team was loaded with talent and had twenty-four players going on to play in the NFL, including four first round picks.


1999 was a magical season for Florida State football. Led by legendary head coach Bobby Bowden, the Seminoles completed a great regular season with a flawless 12–0 record, completing a second season with no losses. They also were the went from the preseason all the way to a bowl game ranked #1 in the country. That was the first time in school history that had been accomplished. They defeated #2 Virginia Tech 46-29 in the Sugar Bowl. The team had several future NFL stars including Sebastian Janikowski, Anquan Boldin, Laveranues Coles, and Peter Warrick.  Southern Pigskin thinks this was FSU’s best team.


Bobby Bowden led the 1996 Seminoles to a perfect record. Florida State completed just their third undefeated regular season, and for the second season in a row. Future NFL running back Warrick Dunn was a Heisman Trophy finalist. He capped off a career that saw him rush for nearly 4,000 yards. Unfortunately this perfect regular season ended in the bowl season with a loss to #3 Florida in the Sugar Bowl.


This represented the first time Bowden was able to take his team through the regular season undefeated. Florida State finished #6 in the AP poll and capped off the season by playing in the Orange Bowl. The Seminoles’ offense scored 326 points while the defense allowed 160 points.