After watching the Florida State Seminoles spring game, I was surprised at how good the wide receivers looked and made me think about some of the great Seminoles of the past. Which pass catcher would I want most on my team in the prime of their college career in Tallahassee, Florida?
There have been some pretty good receivers to play at Doak Campbell Stadium over the years, so deciding which one I would want the most isn’t easy. However, I cut my list to seven. Some were great talents in college and turned into even better professionals in the NFL, while others didn’t live up to their fame as a ‘Nole in the ACC.
7. Laveranues Coles
Coles was never the threat in college that he became in the NFL for the New York Jets, but to have a receiver that would eventually become a 1,200-yard receiver at the next level is always a plus. In four seasons at FSU, one of which he spent as a running back, Coles had 62 catches for 1,064 yards and seven touchdowns. He is probably better remembered for the trouble he caused and multiple arrests as a student-athlete, but he was still drafted in the third round of the 2000 NFL Draft because of his talent.
6. Kelvin Benjamin
Not only was Kelvin Benjamin a big receiver for FSU football, he was also a big-time target. In two seasons with the Seminoles, Benjamin caught 84 passes for 1,506 yards and 19 touchdowns, but none of them were as important as the game-winning touchdown with 13 seconds remaining in the BCS National Championship game in 2014.
After a sophomore season with 54 catches for 1,011 yards and 15 touchdowns, the Second Team All-ACC member was selected with the 28th pick in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft by the Carolina Panthers.
5. Rashad Greene
No player has finished their career with better numbers than Rashad Greene. In four seasons, he left Tallahassee as the all-time leader in receptions (270 career catches) and yards (3,830 career receiving yards). In 2014, Greene had one of the best statistical seasons by a ‘Noles receiver, finishing with 99 catches for 1,365 yards and seven touchdowns. Greene was able to find openings at will and was extremely difficult to stop. In his final two seasons as a Seminole, he had at least three catches in every game.
4. Peter Warrick
Peter Warrick was more than just a receiver. Although he is statistically one of the best in Florida State football history, he was also extremely dangerous on special teams, averaging 13 yards per punt return and scoring two touchdowns. The two-time First Team All-American has the most receiving touchdowns in school history with 31, and also is third in both receptions (207) and yards (3,517). He was so talented, the Cincinnati Bengals picked him fourth overall in the 2000 NFL Draft.
3. Fred Biletnikoff
The player who is the namesake of the award for the nation’s top wide receiver in college football was nothing short of dominant in 1964, leading the country in receiving yards and touchdowns and second in catches with 70 receptions for 1,179 yards and 15 touchdowns. Remember, this was in 1964 when only 26 players across the country had more than 500 yards and just six broke the 700-yard mark. If he would have played in an air-raid style offense, he may have set records that never would have been broken. He is a member of both the College Football Hall of Fame and Pro Football Hall of Fame.
2. Anquan Boldin
He may not have had the dominant numbers of some of the best receivers and football players in program history, but he is my favorite and did something no one else did. Boldin played quarterback in a bowl game because of injuries. As a senior, Boldin finished the season with 65 catches for 1,011 yards and 13 touchdowns.
In the Sugar Bowl against Georgia, Boldin had to play quarterback due to injuries and finished the game 6-for-14 for 78 yards and a touchdown and 13 rushes for 34 yards. A few months later, Boldin was taken in the second round of the 2003 NFL Draft by the Arizona Cardinals. He had a really good pro career with 13,779 yards and 82 touchdowns on 1,076 catches, made three Pro Bowls, and won Super Bowl XLVII with the Baltimore Ravens.
1. Ron Sellers
It is hard to imagine a player dominating NCAA college football as much as Ron Sellers did in the 1960s and yet isn’t a household name. In 1968, he led the country with 1,496 yards and was tied for the lead with 86 receptions and second with 12 touchdowns. Sellers has seven of the top eight spots in Florida State history for catches in a single game, including the top mark of 16 catches against South Carolina in 1968.