Spencer Clay Shiver, C, 1991-1995
Inducted into the Florida State University Hall of Fame in 2001
Bobby Bowden once called Clay Shiver "the greatest center I ever coached."
That's high praise from the all-time winningest coach in D1A NCAA history. Born in Tifton, Georgia, Seminole fans remember Shiver fondly as the starting center on the first National Championship team in FSU history.
With Charlie Ward at the helm Florida State's offense lived and died on the arms and legs of the talented scrambling quarterback. But the most under-appreciated element of that offense was the consistency of the shotgun snaps coming from its sophomore center.
Being asked to play on a national title-caliber offense as a redshirt sophomore is a tall enough order as it is, but being asked to perfect a shotgun snap for an eventual Heisman winner while doing it almost seems unfair. Even if you're making 95 or 96 of them, that's still one botched snap per 20 or 25 attempts. And one bad snap is all it takes to turn the tide of a game for good.
Not only did Shiver handle his business that year though, he did it while only surrendering half a sack in 700 snaps. Florida State went on to win a national title, Ward went on to win a Heisman, Shiver had a lot more to do with both than he ever gets credited for.
Shiver's success continued into his junior and senior seasons as well, winning the Jacobs Blocking Trophy both years while being named to four All-American squads as a junior and six as a senior, including picking up consensus All-American honors.
The 6-2 285-pound center went on to be selected in the 3rd round of the 1996 NFL Draft by the Dallas Cowboys. He would play three seasons in the NFL (starting every game in 1997) before hanging up his cleats as a result of a shoulder injury.
Regardless of his professional career being cut short, Shiver's place on this list was a no-brainer. He is one of just a handful of Seminole offensive linemen to ever earn consensus All-American honors, he was a three year starter and earned All-ACC honors all three years. If you're making the All-Time All-FSU squad, center is one of the few positions that needs very little debate. Clay Shiver is the best center to have ever come through Florida State.
Shiver was inducted into the Florida State University Hall of Fame in 2001. He is currently a high school football coach at Boca Raton Christian.
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