Jeff Cameron, David Hale and Heather Dinich agonized and analyzed the rosters of Florida State greats to pick their all-time Seminoles teams. Here’s a look at the surprises, steals and moves that made up each team.
Biggest surprise: Marvin Jones No. 1. With two Heisman-winning quarterbacks waiting to be taken, it was almost assumed that Charlie Ward or Chris Weinke would be the first pick of any all-time Florida State team. No so fast. While NFL GMs might disagree with taking a middle linebacker so high, this is a statement of the team’s history and maybe some sentimentality as well. “Shade Tree” recorded 100-plus tackles in each season at FSU and won the Butkus Award as a junior. But, more importantly, his combination of fierce hitting, speed and athleticism would set the standards for FSU’s defenses throughout the 1990s.
Biggest steal: Anquan Boldin in Round 21. Boldin gets lost in the litany of great receivers that have played for the Seminoles. He overcame a torn ACL in 2001 and returned the following year to put up a 1,011-yard season, which is the seventh-best in school history.
Best unit: Team Cameron Linebackers. Both Jones and Derrick Brooks are two-time All-Americans, and Brooks is a sure-fire Hall of Famer, but Reggie Herring had more career tackles at Florida State than both of them. He was also a three-year starter in Bobby Bowden’s early days in Tallahassee. Jones and Brooks’ reputations and resumes speak for themselves, but its Herring that rounds out this tackling machine of a unit.
Gutsiest pick: Clay Shiver No. 4 overall. With Deion Sanders, Derrick Brooks and Warrick Dunn following immediately after, it would be easy to wonder just what Team Dinich was thinking taking a center with the first pick of the second round. However, the all-time draft rule required one center and four other offensive linemen. Florida State has had one center selected as an All-American -- Shiver in 1995.
Best team: Team Hale. Think back to Florida State’s fast-break offense with Charlie Ward at the controls. Now give the dual-threat Heisman winner Peter Warrick, Marvin Minnis and Kez McCorvey to throw to and Travis Minor in the backfield. Minnis helped Weinke to his Heisman as a deep-ball threat in 2000, and McCorvey was Ward’s go-to guy during the 1993 title run. Then there’s Warrick, perhaps the most electrifying player with the ball in his hands. In other words, the passing game would be hard to beat. Add in Minor, the Seminoles’ all-time leader in carries, and the offense becomes lethal and balanced. The Hale squad lacks the same star power on defense, but when you’ve got Prime Time, Deion Sanders, trash-talking, high-stepping and locking down one side of the field, Terrell Buckley on the other side and Peter Boulware rushing the passer, the defense will be just fine.