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best FSU linebackers of all-time

FSU’s best linebackers of all-time

The best linebackers in Florida State history ranked

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 Nigel Bradham (2008-2011)

 Nigel Bradham, one of the best linebackers in FSU history.

Nigel Bradham was one of the highest recruited prospects at linebacker that Bobby Bowden ever had play for him.

Bradham played for both Bowden and Jimbo Fisher. Under Jimbo, Bradham was one of the best linebackers Fisher had at Florida State. He was a pillar during the transition from Bobby to Jimbo and that’s why he’s on this list.

He was the underappreciated heart of the Philadelphia Eagles linebackers that won the super Bowl in 2017. Flowing from sideline to sideline and playing good coverage too.

The 5-star recruit was recruited by Chuck Amato and Jimbo Fisher and as the top  linebacker in his class, the scouting report read that he didn’t have any weaknesses at the position. Although rushing the passer wasn’t his strength.

Bradham left FSU with 306 tackles, 21.5 TFL, 3 FF, 3 INT, 11 BRUP, 3 QBH

  Lawrence Timmons (2004-06)

Lawrence Timmons after a turnover with the Seminoles

Lawrence Timmons talent made him one of the Noles best linebackers of all-time. It also made him an NFL 1st round pick, pro-bowler, and Super Bowl champion with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Timmons left Florida State with 126 tackles, 22.5 TFL, 8 sacks, 2 FF (TD), I INT returned for TD, 8 QBH, 7 BRUP, 4 blocked kicks.

 Tommy Polley (1996-00)

Tommy Polley tackles the Gators back as a member of the Florida State Seminoles

Tommy Polley was one of the best linebackers in Seminoles history and the best on the 1999 National Championship team.

He was a 1st team All-ACC selection in 1999 & 2000, leading the Noles in tacking both seasons. He had 109 tackles in 1999 and 100 in 2000.

Polley’s career numbers as an FSU linebacker are 289 tackles, 19 TFL, 7 sacks, 4 FF, 2 INT, 8 QBH, 14 BRUP.

 Buster Davis (2002-06)

Buster Davis is among the best linebackers all-time at Florida State

Buster Davis was a 2nd team Camp All-American and 1st team All-ACC in 2006.

His stats were 109 tackles, 9 TFL, 5 sacks, 2 FF, 1 INT, 2 BRUP

During his career in Tallahassee, he had 265 tackles, 27.5 TFL, 8 sacks, 2 FF, 1 INT, 13 QBH, 8 BRUP.

 Kendyll Pope (2000-03)

Kendyll Pope, FSU linebacker

Pope had 113 and 131 tackles in 2001 & 2002 respectively. A 2002 2nd team All-ACC selection.

His career stats in Tallahassee stand at 352 tackles, 28 TFL, 5 sacks, 3 FF, 5 INT, 8 QBH, 12 BRUP.

 Ernie Sims (2003-05)

Ernis Sims is one of the best linebackers in FSU history, chasing Penn State QB Michael Robinson

Ernie Sims was the top overall recruit in the nation according to Rivals.com. Sims would be the 9th overall selection in the 2006 NFL Draft too.

He was a disruptive defensive force and one of the best linebackers in Florida State history.

While playing for the Noles, Sims had 200 tackles, 21 TFL, 7 sacks, 3 FF, 2 INT, 19 QBH, 11 BRUP, 1 blocked kick.

 Dale McCullers (1966-68)

Dale McCullers, FSU linebacker great

Dale McCullers has the record for tackles in a game for an FSU player with 29 tackles in 1968 vs. Texas A&M.

He is one tackle off the Seminoles record for tackles in a season too. His 180 tackles in 1967 are 2nd all-time and his 163 tackles in 1968 are good for 4th highest in program  history.

Dale McCullers is one of the best linebackers in FSU history. He finished with 343 tackles at Florida State.


 Daryl Bush (1993-97)

One of the best linebackers in Seminoles history, Daryl Bush

Daryl Bush was a three time All-ACC 2nd team selection and Butkus award semi-finalist from 1995-97.

In 1997, he was named an AP 3rd team All-American too.

During his time in the Garnet & Gold, Bush tallied 361 tackles, 26 TFL, 12 sacks, 6 FF, 2 INT, 8 BRUP.

 Aaron Carter (1974-77)

Aaron Carter was one of the best linebackers in FSU history

Aaron Carter was a tackling machine for the Noles in the early days of Bobby Bowden. A member of the Seminoles when Bowden took the job in 1976.

He became one of the Noles best linebackers as an upperclassman under Bowden.

He has the most tackles in school history with 512 and has the most in a season with 181 tackles in 1977.

Mr. Carter had 512 tackles, 7 TFL, 1 FF, 3 INT while wearing the Garnet & Gold.

 Kirk Carruthers (1989-91)

Kirk Carruthers of Florida State

Kirk Carruthers was a 2nd team All-South selection in 1990 and a 1st team All-South in b both 1989 & 1991.

Carruthers is fifth all-time on the Noles all-time tackles list with 435.

1989 – 145 tackles, 1990 – 122 tackles, 1991 – 118 tackles.

While in Tallahassee, he had 435 tackles, 15 TFL, 14 sacks, 7 FF, 4 INT, 10 BRUP

 Paul Piurowski (1977-80)

Paul Piurowski FSU linebackers great

Paul Piuowski was a 1980 All-South 1st team selection. He had 123 tackles in 1979 and 122 in 1980.

For his career at Florida State, Piurowski had 340 tackles, 7 TFL, 8 sacks, 8 FF, 2 INT ( 1 TD).

 Telvin Smith (2010-13)

Telvin Smith was a great Seminoles linebacker

Telvin Smith doesn’t have some of the overall stats of some of the other best linebackers in FSU history but his skillset and overall value to the 2013 National Champions is immeasurable.

The 6’3, 215 pound FSU linebacker was too light for college football and then the NFL too. HA-HA-HA.

Didn’t they ever hear of the saying “speed kills’? How about when it is mixed with superior football awareness and the ability to hit like he was 250 pounds?

That’s who Telvin Smith was. Anyone who thinks he is ranked too high doesn’t truly have a grasp on what football is all about.

He was a 2013 2nd team All-ACC selection and had 214 tackles, 29 TFL, 7 sacks, 2 FF, 4 INT, (2 returned TD) 6 QBH, 10 BRUP.

 Reggie Herring (1977-80)

Reggie Herring, LB, Florida State Seminoles

Reggie Herring was an All-South 2nd team selection in 1979 and 1st team All-South in 1980. He was also named as a AP 2nd team All-American in 1980 too.

Herring is 3rd on the Noles all-time tackles list.

He had 137 tackles in 1978 and 144 tackles in 1979. One of the best linebackers in school history, Reggie Herring had his best season as a Senior in 1980. Finishing with 170 tackles, which is good for 3rd best in Seminoles history for a single season.

His career numbers read 452 tackles, 13 TFL, 7 sacks, 3 FF, 2 INT.

 Sam Cowart (1993-97)

Sam Cowart was one of the best linebackers in Noles history

Sam Cowart had 115 tackles, 10 TFL, 3 sacks, 1 INT,  BRUP in 1995. After this great season he had reconstructive knee surgery and sat out all of the 1996 season.

He won the Brian Piccolo award for hardship in 1996 and redshirted.

When he returned for his redshirt Senior season in 1997, Cowart was named 1st team All-ACC, 1st team AP All-American, and a Consensus All-American.

Named a finalist for both the Butkus and Bronco Nagurski awards, Cowart had 116 tackles, 8 TFL, 4 sacks, 3 fumbles recovered for touchdowns(FSU record).

Combined in Tallahassee, Sam had 338 tackles, 20 TFL, 9 sacks, 1 INT, 5 BRUP, and 3 fumbles returned for touchdowns.

 Paul McGowan (1985-87)

FSU linebackers of all-time, Paul McGowan

Paul McGowan is ranked fourth all-time in tackles at Florida State. He is one of the absolute best linebackers to ever lace up in Tallahassee.

McGowan was a 1st team All-South selection for 3 years in a row (1985-87) and a 1st team AP All-American in 1987.

He won the Butkus Award for the best linebacker in the nation. He was the first winner in program history.

136 tackles in 1985, 129 in 1986 and 150 tackles in 1987.

McGowan left school with a Butkus and 446 tackles, 32 TFL, 3 sacks, 6 FF, 3 INT, 1 QBH, 6 BRUP.

 Derrick Brooks (1991-94)

Derrick Brooks is one of Florida State's best linebackers ever

Derrick Brooks could be ranked as the best linebacker in FSU history. In fact I was going to give him the nod based on him being an integral part of Florida State’s first National Championship team in 1993.

Brooks was 1st team All-ACC for three straight seasons (1992-94) and ACC Defensive Player-of-the-Year in 1993.

He was an 1st team AP All-American and Consensus All-American in both 1993 & 1994. In 1993, Mr. Derrick Brooks was also a Unanimous All-American.

He had the greatest NFL Career of all FSU linebackers, being named to 11 pro-bowls, a 5x All-Pro, Super Bowl Winner, NFL Defensive Player of the Year and All-2000’s team.

As a Seminole he had 274 tackles, 18 TFL, 8.5 sacks, 4 FF, 5 INT (2 INT returned TD), 13 BRUP, 2 blocked kicks.

 Marvin Jones (1990-92)

The top of the FSU linebackers of all-time is Marvin Jones.

The only thing Marvin Jones didn’t do at Florida State is stay for his Senior season and win the National Championship in 1993.

He won the Butkus and Lombardi awards in 1992

Jones was a 1st team All-South selection in 1990 & 1991. He was 1st team All-ACC in 1992 in the teams first season in the conference.

In 1990, he was a 3rd team AP All-American and received back-to-back 1st team All-American honors in 1991 & 1992.

A two time Consensus All-American (1991-92) and a Unanimous All-American in 1992.

Marvin Jones leads the list of FSU’s best linebackers with 133 tackles as a Freshman, 125 as a Sophomore, and 111 tackles as a Junior.

When this Seminole player in Noles history left school he had 369 tackles, 27 TFL, 5.5 sacks, 1 FF, 3 INT, 7 BRUP.


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I provide highly opinionated sports articles. Most of these are featured articles. They will likely differ from the thoughts, stories and ideas, recycled by TV, radio, etc.

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