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FSU All-Time Countdown - No. 4 - Peter Warrick

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Peter Warrick, WR, 1995-1999

Inducted into the Florida State University Hall of Fame in 2010

Without a doubt one of the most dominant athletes to ever play at Florida State, Peter Warrick was almost always the most dangerous player on the field.

There are players that catch a lot of touchdowns or run fast or make good cuts, but those kinds of descriptions don't do justice to the kind of explosiveness that Warrick brought to a football field. Before guys like DeSean Jackson and Devin Hester were making explosive returns and breaking oppsosing defenders' ankles, Peter Warrick was dropping jaws in Tallahassee.

Born in Brandenton, Florida, Warrick was a Seminole from the time he was in high school starring for Southeastern High (also the Seminoles). He earned national attention from a handful of programs but accepted an offer from Bobby Bowden to come play at Florida State in 1995.

After a redshirt season, Warrick made it on to the field in 1996 and immediately flashed potential with a 21.2 yard average and four touchdowns. He was just getting warmed up. His sophomore encore featured 53 receptions for 884 yards and 8 touchdowns, which got him first team All-ACC honors, put him on the map nationally and got Seminoles fans talking about Warrick as the next great Seminole receiver in the Florida State line.

He didn't disappoint, earning consensus NCAA All-American status in each of his final two season at FSU. As a junior Warrick average 20.2 yards per catch, hauling in 61 passes for 1232 yards and a career-high 12 touchdowns.

The following season Warrick was on pace for his best year when he was suspended mid-year for his involvement in the now-infamous Dillards incident that saw him and teammate Laverneus Coles purchase over 400 dollars worth of designer clothes for just 21 dollars. 

Coles was kicked off the team, Warrick missed three games and in essence lost a shot at a Heisman trophy and several Florida State receiving records.

Warrick still came back to have a major impact during Florida State's 1999 National title campaign, including hauling in the decisive touchdown catch late in the Sugar Bowl against Virginia Tech to seal FSU's second championship in the '90's. The 5-11 195-pound receiver finished 1999 with a career high in receptions (71) and had 934 receiving yards and eight touchdowns. But he missed Ron Sellers career receiving record by just 81 yards when it was all said and done- instead finishing second in school history.

He finished his career at Florida State second all-time in receptions and career yards, but first in touchdowns. Warrick's 32 is the most by any receiver ever at the historically pass-happy university.

But that doesn't tell the whole story. Warrick is not this high on the list for simply being an excellent receiver. In fact the term "receiver" probably diminishes what Warrick really was for Florida State, he was a playmaker. 

No matter where Warrick lined up for Florida State, defenders needed to pay attention to him or he could scorch a whole defense. Warrick didn't just catch passes, 41 times during his career Florida State handed the ball off to him, he scored on four of them. Aside from the fact averaging a TD every ten carries is a nice ratio for anyone, think for a second what that kind of ability does to a defense.

For the last two years Warrick played at FSU in 1998 and 1999, every time FSU even motioned Warrick, or faked a reverse or an end-around or any kind of trickeration where Warrick got the ball behind the line in space, you'd see half a defense get out of position in anticipation of Warrick getting the ball.

That opened up a lot of other things for Florida State on offense, got a lot of other players open, created a lot of mismatches. But even if the defense was right and Warrick did get the ball and they were in position, a lot of times it still didn't matter.

And then there were Warrick's return skills. He averaged 13 yards per punt return and could score from anywhere on the field, going for return TD's of 75 and 90 yards over his career at Florida State. 

This was at a time when Sebastian Janikowski was driving the ball through the uprights regularly on kickoffs and FSU's offense was rarely punting. The field position game against Florida State in those years was not a winnable proposition. Teams were unlikely to start anywhere beyond their own 20 when FSU kicked and they had to kick it to Warrick if they couldn't convert on offense. None of that sounds appealing.

Warrick was arguably the most dynamic player (at least with the ball in his hands) to play at Florida State through the entire 90's. That was FSU's hey-day, and there are certainly plenty of suitable candidates for that title, but nobody had the kind of flash or brought the level of excitement that Warrick could.

Lightning in a bottle is a cliche because of guys like Peter Warrick.

 

Next on the list is a future c/o 2014 NFL Hall of Famer

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