The Daily Nole

FSU Football: Top Five Players to Wear No. 33

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Although he’s sidelined for the early parts of fall camp, Florida State freshman linebacker and legacy Amari Gainer is expecting to have a solid career.

Earlier this offseason, Gainer was given No. 33. His father and former receiver, Herb, wore No. 3 during his time in Tallahassee.

In a series that examines the best FSU players by jersey number, we now look at the best to wear No. 33. The players are only eligible for the time they wore the number. For example, Leon Washington wore No. 33 in 2002 before switching to No. 3 for his final three seasons. Only his 2002 season would be considered.

5. Grant Guthrie (1967-69)
28-for-53 field goals, long 53, 72-for-76 PATs
Kickers weren’t as accurate in the late 1960s as they are today, but Grant Guthrie hit some big ones during his time at Florida State. The most notable was a game-winner against Miami in 1969 as Guthrie hit a 31-yard field goal with less than two minutes to play in a 16-14 win. Although the career percentage isn’t great, Guthrie was a combined 20-for-34 in 1967 and 1969.

4. Tiger McMillion (1990-94)
Running Back
814 yards rushing, 4 rushing touchdowns, 312 yards receiving, 1 touchdown catch
Tiger McMillon spent the majority of his career behind the likes of Amp Lee, Sean Jackson and Warrick Dunn, but was a dependable reserve for Florida State and a solid kick returner. McMillon scored five career touchdowns for the Seminoles and was used somewhat as a third-down back early on. Three of McMillon’s four career rushing touchdowns came in 1992, which included a 2-yard scamper in a 45-24 win over rival Florida.

3. Carlton “Ty” Jones (2008-11)
Running Back
948 yards rushing, 12 rushing touchdowns, 97 yards receiving, 1 touchdown catch
Much like Tiger McMillon, Ty Jones was never the feature back for Florida State, but was a dependable contributor. Jones’ best season came in 2010 when he rushed for 527 yards and five touchdowns. Despite being regarded as a between-the-tackles back, Jones averaged 5.5 yards per carry for his career. Jones eclipsed the 100-yard rushing mark three times in his career. That included a 108-yard effort and a touchdown on just 12 carries in a 54-28 upset of No. 7 BYU in 2009. That performance came one week after Jones scored the game-winner against Jacksonville State with 35 seconds remaining.

2. Rudy Thomas (1973-76)
Running Back
1,027 yards rushing, 10 rushing touchdowns, 387 yards receiving, 2 touchdown catches
Mostly a reserve, Rudy Thomas was a 3-year contributor for Florida State teams in the mid-1970s that weren’t very good. Thomas played behind the likes of Leon Bright and Larry Key, but remained an important piece on offense. With his carries dwindling as a senior, Thomas polished his skills as a receiver to finish third on the team with 233 yards.

1. Sammie Smith (1985-88)
Running Back
2,539 yards rushing, 15 rushing touchdowns, 221 yards receiving, 3 touchdown catches
Sammie Smith was a big back for Florida State at 210 pounds who could run over or past defenders. After being named a Freshman All-American as a redshirt freshman in 1986, Smith had his best season in 1987. Smith went for 1,230 yards for the Seminoles and nine total touchdowns. Smith didn’t live up to his Heisman hype as a junior in 1988, but still managed to amass over 600 yards in total offense. That doesn’t include a 115-yard rushing effort in the Sugar Bowl against Auburn as Smith became the only rusher to eclipse 100 yards that season on the Tiger defense. Two years prior, Smith ran for a career-high 205 yards and two touchdowns in an All-American Bowl win over Indiana. A 2013 inductee into the FSU Hall of Fame, Smith ranks sixth all-time in rushing yards at Florida State.

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

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