The Daily Nole

25-Year Nole Anniversary: Kanell Shines in First Career Start

Newspaper Archive Photo

The opponent, Maryland, was hardly a juggernaut but there was some concern about No. 1 Florida State’s quarterback situation heading to College Park on Nov. 6, 1993.

With Heisman Trophy frontrunner Charlie Ward sidelined with a side injury, the Seminoles turned to redshirt sophomore Danny Kanell who made his first career start. Kanell would shine in a 49-20 win over Maryland that took place on this day 25 years ago.

“When you have battle-tested leaders, everyone said that we weren’t going to put this all on Danny,” former FSU linebacker Todd Rebol told The Daily Nole over the summer. “Charlie was not only an outstanding player, but our leader. The entire team was going to bear the responsibility of losing Charlie Ward.”

In his first career start, Kanell finished the day 28-for-38 passing for 341 yards and five touchdowns. Kez McCorvey was the top target that day, finishing with 10 catches for 122 yards and the game’s first touchdown. Kevin Knox, Matt Frier and Sean Jackson were also on the receiving end of Kanell touchdown passes.

“We had a team full of really good football players,” McCorvey previously told The Daily Nole. “Danny came out and played very well.”

Despite being just 1-7, the Terrapins hung tough early on, trailing just 28-20 early in the third quarter. The FSU defense would eventually settle in and the Seminoles would score the game’s final 21 points. Linebackers Derrick Brooks and Ken Alexander led FSU with 13 tackles apiece.

“We hoped for the best for Charlie, but our goals hadn’t changed,” linebacker Derrick Brooks said. “We were confident in Danny Kanell.”

Ward returned the following week in a loss to Notre Dame, but would become FSU’s first Heisman Trophy winner and lead the program to its first national championship that year. As for Kanell, the one start in 1993 was a sign of things to come at FSU. Kanell started every game the next two seasons and led FSU to major bowl victories and top-5 finishes in each. Still, his first career start came on this day 25 years ago.

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