Jamie Dukes, OG, 1982-1985
Inducted into the Florida State University Hall of Fame in 1991
Before Florida State was able to claim its place as one of college football's powerhouses in the 1990's they had a blue-collar period in the late 1970's and 1980's where they gained a reputation for being willing to travel anywhere and play anyone for a shot to prove themeselves.
Jamie Dukes was one of the players at the center of that. He was born in Schenectady, NY before moving to Orlando as a child. He arrived at Florida State in 1982 and started every game from then until he graduated following the 1985 season. That's 48 consecutive starts.
By the time he was a senior Dukes had established himself as one of the top offensive linemen in the country. His accolades as a senior included being named to just about every All-American team in existence at the time in addition to becoming just the fifth consensus NCAA All-American in Florida State history.
Despite a tremendous collegiate career the 6-1 285-pound guard went undrafted in 1986 and signed on with the Falcons as a UDFA. To give a little perspective, the draft lasted 12 rounds in 1986 and though there were fewer teams that still means a lot of guys were picked that year when Dukes wasn't.
But much as FSU had been doing in that era, Dukes hit the road and proved himself, earning a roster spot in Atlanta that launched a 10-year NFL career. After being a reserve for the first five years of his career, he cracked the starting roster for the Falcons in 1991 and was a starter for the rest of his time in the NFL.
Dukes went on to play in 124 games over the course of his 10-year NFL career, starting three full seasons for the Falcons from 1991-1993 before heading to Green Bay and Arizona where he battled injuries for two years before finally hanging it up.
He went on to become a radio host and an analyst for NFL Network.
While there are a slew of linemen that are at the top of the list when it comes to Florida State football history, Dukes' resume may be one of the easier ones to overlook. He wasn't a two-time consensus All-American like Alex Barron and he didn't play on National Championship or even ACC Championship teams.
But for three decades now he has continued to bring recognition to Florida State University. In the mid-80's he helped to raise the profile of the program by making 48 straight starts in the middle of the offensive line and growing into the program's fifth ever NCAA consensus All-American. In the mid-90's he'd established himself as a workman-like starting NFL offensive guard which helped cement FSU's reputation as a pro factory right when the program had come into its heyday.
And these days, his television work on NFL Network alongside fellow FSU alum Deion Sanders certainly doesn't hurt Florida State's reputation as a football school.
Whereas yesterday I mentioned being an "NFL bust" was enough to keep a few players off the top-25 list, in Dukes' case having a 10-year NFL career helped him sneak on to it. Even without it being a Hall of Fame or even All-Pro caliber career, there are solid football programs that have never even had a guy make it ten years as a pro, period.
Dukes had a very good NFL career and one of the best careers at Florida State anyone on the offensive line has ever had.
That's why he's one of the 25 greatest Seminoles of all-time.
Join us tomorrow when we reveal number 24 on the list...
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