July 16, 2012
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- For the longest time, Florida State was one of the elite college football programs that didn't make a common practice of assigning the same jersey number to two different student-athletes.
While it's typical to see a player on offense and a player on defense wear the same jersey number at programs like USC and Alabama among many others, FSU simply didn't fall in to that category.
With the Seminoles' 2012 signing class now officially enrolled, many of the highly-touted newcomers begin their careers with coveted low jersey numbers -- even if a veteran on the other side of the ball has already been wearing it.
In total, 17 different FSU numbers are now featured on at least two scholarships athletes.
Let's take a look at each of the newly-numbered 'Noles and provide a little background on the recent history the digits:
Winston becomes the first FSU quarterback since Adrian McPherson in 2002 and the first offensive player since Preston Parker in 2008 to wear No. 5. Winston wore No. 8 in high school but that number was already claimed on offense by Devonta Freeman.
10: Marvin Bracy
Bracy will be wearing No. 10 but it's going to be difficult to see this digits with how fast he runs. The speedy receiver/return man is the first offensive player at FSU to wear No. 10 since D'Vontrey Richardson did in 2008. Dan Kendra was the last offensive player in the garnet and gold to wear the number for more than one season. No. 10 was recently retired (but is still allowed to be worn by current players) in honor of former star linebacker Derrick Brooks.
11. Sean Maguire
Maguire is another in a long line of quarterbacks that have worn No. 11 for the Seminoles. He joins the likes of Drew Weatherford, Jared Jones and Casey Weldon as the most recent signal-callers to sport the two ones.
12. Reggie Northrup
The No. 12 was last worn on defense at FSU by another former First Coast High School (Jacksonville) linebacker when Nigel Carr sported it for two seasons. Now it's Northrup's turn to wear a number that has typically only been worn by offensive players at FSU.
13. Ronald Darby
FSU fans will have to get used to seeing someone else wearing No. 13 as three-time tackles-leader Nigel Bradham has handed off that jersey number following his selection in the 2012 NFL Draft by the Buffalo Bills. Darby, another track and football speedster like Bracy, is the first cornerback to wear No. 13 since Antonio Cromartie.
It's only fitting that Edwards, Jr. wears the same number his father so famously wore when the elder Edwards was shutting down wide receivers as a cornerback for the 'Noles in the late 1990s. The younger Edwards doesn't play cornerback but will instead be harassing quarterbacks as a defensive end while creating his own Seminole legacy.
16. Ukeme Eligwe
A number that has been so synonymous with FSU quarterbacks is starting to get a linebacker feel. Eligwe will now wear No. 16 two seasons after current Houston Texans linebacker Mister Alexander wore that jersey for FSU.
21: Chris Casher
Casher will have a number typically worn by defensive backs (Avis Commack, Patrick Robinson and Trevor Ford most recently) but numbers in the 20s are becoming commonplace in other parts of the defense as well. Casher is now one of four FSU players in the defense's front seven with jersey numbers in the 20s, joining Telvin Smith (22), Terrance Smith (24) and Nigel Terrell (28).
26: P.J. Williams
Williams will be looking to change the recent fortunes of No. 26 as Arrington Jenkins, A.J. Alexander and Anthony Leon -- the three players to wear it previously -- had FSU careers much shorter than expected. Prior to those players, Willie Reid and Atrews Bells were pretty good with No. 26 on their chest and back.
30: Colin Blake
With Tyler Hunter's switch to No. 1 in the off-season, No. 30 was available for Blake. Prior to Hunter, JaJuan Harley and Derek Nicholson most recently wore the number on defense. Talented defensive back Stanford Samuels wore No. 30 early in his career before switching to No. 10.
71: Menelik Watson
Watson, FSU's new behemoth on the offensive line, will wear No. 71 as he continues his transition from Marist basketball player to junior-college football standout to Division I offensive lineman. Watson's new 'Noles number is about as typical as it gets for an offensive lineman, with Evan Bellamy, Brian Ross, Jerry Charmichael and Todd Fordham most recently wearing it.
81: Eddie Goldman
FSU already has a defensive lineman wearing No. 8 (Timmy Jernigan) and now one wearing No. 15 (Edwards, Jr.) so why not add another uncommon jersey number up front with Goldman's No. 81? Goldman is the first FSU defender to wear a number in the 80s since Lawrence Timmons hunted opposing ball carriers wearing No. 83 from 2000 to 2006.
The Seminoles' new tight end wore No. 83 in high school in California and he will do so across the country in Tallahassee. Wide receiver Bert Reed had worn No. 83 for the previous four seasons before graduating.
94: Justin Shanks
FSU's new class is rounded out by Shanks and his No. 94. The new FSU defensive tackle takes over a number that has most recently been worn by defensive linemen Darious Cummings, Justin Mincey and Chauncey Davis.