The Daily Nole

FSU Football: Top 5 Players from California

Florida State/Collegiate Images via Getty Images

New Florida State head coach Willie Taggart is continuing the tradition of keeping FSU a national brand and he’s willing to go three time zones away to do it.

Thanks to Taggart’s efforts on the recruiting trail, the Seminoles have managed to snag a couple of players from football-rich California in 4-star tight end Camren McDonald and more notably, 5-star safety Jaiden Woodbey despite Florida State not offering him a scholarship until less than a week before he committed. FSU also looks like a player for wide receiver Jalen Hall.

Compared to places more local, California hasn’t exactly been a pipeline for FSU when it comes to recruiting as the Seminoles have managed to land just one player from California over the last five cycles and that player, quarterback Malik Henry, lasted less than a year in Tallahassee.

Although the list is relatively small, here are the five best Florida State players from the state of California:

5. Larry Kissam, T (1965-66)
16 starts
A junior college transfer from Inglewood, Larry Kissam made five starts at guard in 1965 before starting all 11 games at right tackle in 1966. During a 6-5 campaign in 1966, Kissam helped an offense that ranked in the top 20 nationally in scoring.

4. Jim Mankins, RB (1964-66)
781 rushing yards, 9 touchdowns, 217 receiving yards, 2 touchdowns
After leading Florida State in rushing in 1965 with 336 yards on the ground, Mankins had a special senior season as he accounted for a team-high 10 touchdowns with eight of those coming on the ground. Mankins’ 631 total yards that season was second only to All-American Ron Sellers.

Chris Rix (Photo courtesy of Eliot J. Schecter/Getty Images)

3. Chris Rix, QB (2000-04)
55 percent completions, 8,390 yards passing, 63 touchdown passes, 40 interceptions, 823 yards rushing, 12 touchdowns
A 4-year starter at quarterback from Santa Margarita, Chris Rix had an up-and-down career, but did lead the Seminoles to two ACC titles and a 10-win season in 2003. Rix was marred by his inability to beat Miami as he went 0-5 as a starter against the Hurricanes during his career. Rix split time at quarterback with Adrian McPherson in 2002 and Wyatt Sexton in 2004, but still ranks fifth in school-history in completions, second in passing yards and third in passing touchdowns.

2. Lorenzo Booker, RB (2002-06)
2,389 yards rushing, 14 touchdowns, 995 yards receiving, 2 touchdowns
A native of Ventura, California, Lorenzo Booker split time for virtually all of his FSU career with the likes of Greg Jones, Leon Washington and Antone Smith, but was a big play waiting to happen. Booker’s best season came as a sophomore in 2004 when he rushed for nearly 900 yards and both he and Washington went over 1,000 from scrimmage for the season. Booker led the Seminoles in yards from scrimmage in each of his final three seasons and in rushing yards in each of his final two. Booker ranks eighth in school-history in rushing yards.

1. Travis Johnson, DT (2000-04)
175 total tackles, 43.5 tackles for loss, 10 sacks, 6 forced fumbles
A 4-year contributor from Sherman Oaks, Travis Johnson wasted little time making his presence felt. After being redshirted in 2000, Johnson was named a Freshman All-American in 2001 by the Sporting News. Johnson put together a solid sophomore in campaign in 2002 before taking a step back as a junior along a talented defensive line that included Darnell Dockett, Eric Moore, Chauncey Davis and Broderick Bunkley. Johnson proceed to put together a career-year as a senior. In 2004, Johnson tallied 50 total tackles, including 18 for loss. Johnson earned All-American honors from a number of publications, including a first-team selection from CBS Sports, ESPN and Rivals.

Mike Ferguson is the editor of The Daily Nole. Follow Mike on Twitter @MikeWFerguson

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply