The Daily Nole

58 Days Until FSU Football: No. 58 Jamal Reynolds Becomes a Star

Bill Frakes /Sports Illustrated/Getty Images

There are now 58 days until Florida State football returns for the 2018 season. As part of the offseason, we’re doing a countdown that highlights players, games, and specific moments from FSU football history.

On Friday, it was former wide receiver Peter Warrick returning a punt 59 yards for a touchdown in the 1999 national championship game.

Today, it’s former defensive end Jamal Reynolds, who wore No. 58 at FSU and became an elite defensive end during his college career.

Jamal Reynolds came from Aiken, South Carolina as the best defensive end prospect in the 1997 recruiting class. He chose to wear No. 58 throughout his playing career — a number that carried great expectations, as sack-artist Peter Boulware had worn it before him.

By the time Reynolds’ playing career came to a close in 2000, he did a pretty good job of living up to it.

His first major action came in 1998, when he played in 11 games as a rotational defensive end. He did well in limited time by recording 43 tackles and 4.5 sacks — three of which came vs. Wake Forest.

It became obvious by 1999 that he was ready for a full-time starter role. Not surprisingly, Reynolds was probably the best defensive end for a loaded national championship defense. Reynolds went for 57 tackles, 11 tackles for loss, and eight sacks.

He had three multi-sack games and saved his best one for last: the 2000 Sugar Bowl for the national championship against Michael Vick and Virginia Tech, where Reynolds somehow corralled Vick for three sacks on the night.

Jamal Reynolds had three sacks of Virginia Tech’s Michael Vick in the 2000 Sugar Bowl. (Photo by Mike Ewan/Tallahassee Democrat/Provided by Garnet and Great, FSU Archivist)

His senior year in 2000 solidified him as an eventual Hall of Fame selection. Reynolds earned Unanimous All-American honors with 58 tackles, 15 for loss, 12 sacks, and four forced fumbles. He transformed from just a pass rusher to a complete menace on the defensive line. He could disrupt either part of an offense and dissuade the opponent from going to his side of the field.

Reynolds left FSU with the fourth-most sacks in program history (23.5). He was an eventual top-10 pick in the 2001 NFL Draft when he went to the Green Bay Packers. Reynolds was elected into the FSU Hall of Fame in 2013.

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