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Quarterback Week: Jameis Winston was FSU’s best in history

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For Sean Maguire, there are footsteps to follow.

In front of him are former FSU quarterbacks who have won national championships, and Heismans, and been No. 1 draft picks. There are men and moments and memories.

There are men, moments and memories.

But who is the best?

It is quarterback week here at the SaintPetersblog. That means we decide the best players to play the position for each of the state colleges. Today, it’s FSU’s turn, and there are plenty of candidates.

10. Danny McManus (1985-87): McManus helped start the dynasty in 1987, leading FSU to an 11-1 record. McManus would go on to play 17 seasons in the CFL.

9. Danny Kanell (1993-95): Kanell threw 49 touchdown passes his last two seasons. He also spent seven years in the NFL for the New York Giants.

8. Thad Busby (1995-97): Busby never seemed to satisfy a lot of fans, but he did go 22-2 as a starter. That isn’t bad. He threw 41 touchdown passes his last two seasons.

7. Gary Huff (1970-72): Huff shattered records at FSU before his six-year NFL career. He was a second-round pick of the Bears.

6. Christian Ponder (2008-10): Ponder started three seasons in which he was the primary weapon for FSU at a down time in the program. He was the 12th overall pick by the Vikings.

5. E.J. Manuel (2009-12): Led the Seminoles to four bowl victories on his way to being the 16th pick of the draft.

4. Casey Weldon (1990-91): Weldon finished second in the Heisman voting as a senior, keeping Brad Johnson on the bench. A fourth-round draftee by the NFL, he spent seven seasons in the league.

3. Chris Weinke (1998-2000): Helped the Seminoles reach three straight national title games while at FSU. Won the Heisman and the ’99 national championship. A seven-year stay in the NFL.

2. Charlie Ward (1992-93): Won the school’s first Heisman and led them to their first national title. Did not play in the NFL, instead spent 11 seasons in the NBA.

1. Jameis Winston (2013-14): Winston spent two seasons at FSU, winning a national title and getting the Seminoles to the playoffs. He won the Heisman and was the No. 1 overall draft pick. He threw 40 touchdowns as a freshman.

Honorable mention: Peter Tom Willis, Brad Johnson, Steve Tensi, Jimmy Jordan, Chris Rix.

Gary Shelton is one of the most recognized and honored sportswriters in the history of the state. He has won the APSE's national columnist of the year twice and finished in the top 10 eight times. He was named the Florida Sportswriter of the Year six times. Gary joined SaintPetersBlog in the spring, helping to bring a sports presence to the website. Over his time in sports writing, Gary has covered 29 Super Bowls, 10 Olympics, Final Fours, Masters, Wimbledons and college national championships. He was there when the Bucs won a Super Bowl, when the Lightning won a Stanley Cup and when the Rays went to a World Series. He has seen Florida, FSU and Miami all win national championships, and he covered Bear Bryant, Bobby Bowden and Don Shula along the way. He and his wife Janet have four children: Eric, Kevin, K.C. and Tori. To contact, visit

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