Originally posted on Fox Sports Florida  |  Last updated 11/21/12
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. The group includes a quarterback that is 23-5 as a starter. An All-American defensive end. A kicker that has scored the most points in program and ACC history. And a receiver that has a catch in 36 straight games. Florida State (10-1) will honor its seniors before Saturdays home finale against Florida (10-1). While its a top-10 showdown and a rivalry game with Bowl Championship Series implications, it will be an emotional day for the student-athletes and their families. The players arrived in Tallahassee as part of the class of 2008 or 2009. They witnessed the struggles as the Bobby Bowden Era came to a close during their underclassmen years and then the rebuilding of the foundation of the program under coach Jimbo Fisher. Florida States seniors have enjoyed three straight undefeated seasons so far against teams from the state of Florida, two Atlantic Division titles and a pair of 10-win seasons. An ACC title could also come next week. I think its brought back the credibility, Fisher said. I think its put us back in the national spotlight. I think this senior class needs to be remembered very well for getting Florida State back in the limelight and making it significant again in college football in the upper echelon of those conversations. Among the seniors that will be honored Saturday are quarterback EJ Manuel, running backs Chris Thompson and Lonnie Pryor, wide receiver Rodney Smith, defensive linemen Tank Carradine, Brandon Jenkins, Amp McCloud and Everett Dawkins, linebacker Vince Williams and kicker Dustin Hopkins. Manuel was Fishers first big verbal commitment, back when he was still the offensive coordinator under Bowden. But Manuel has been the most accurate quarterback in Florida State history, completing 67 percent of his passes. But he will also leave the school as one of the top 5 quarterbacks in passing yards, completions and total offense. He is also 23-5 as a starter, having won 12 of his last 13 games. I dont think its really sunk in that this is my last home game here at Florida State, Manuel said. Hopefully its a great feeling the fact that were up on the scoreboard. Thats whats most important to me. That would be a great feeling walking off that field knowing that we won. A win would give Florida State 11 victories something the program hasnt had since 2000. That was about the time most of the current seniors turned 10 years old. Smith has been as reliable a receiver as the team has had in recent years. He has a catch in 36 straight games, two short of the school record held by E.G. Green. I think the 2009 class, we had a big part in turning this program around, Smith said. I think were going to finish it Saturday. Were going to finish what we started. It will be an emotional day for two other seniors who will wear garnet and gold but wont be able to play. Jenkins senior season was lost to a foot injury that he suffered in the season opener against Murray State. He announced on Monday that he has opted against taking a medical redshirt and will enter the NFL Draft. Thompson is asking for a medical redshirt based on his loss of 12 games over the past two seasons. But his appeal to the NCAA is a long shot after he played in five games before suffering broken vertebrae in 2011 and participated in eight games before tearing the ACL in his left knee this season. He could be at FSU or in the NFL in 2013. It all rides on the NCAAs decision that is still perhaps two months away. I kind of see it as possibly my last home game, Thompson said. Its going to be emotional for me. But at the same time, Im just going to enjoy it. Its Florida State and Florida. To be out there for that game, its still going to mean a lot whether Im playing or not. Theres no doubting the impact that the seniors, even the injured ones like Jenkins and Thompson, have had on the program. The 7-6 seasons appear to be in the past. And while the seniors know a national title is nearly impossible at this point, they are proud of their accomplishments. Our expectations as a team have definitely changed, Hopkins said. At this point, where our program is, we expect more, we expect wins, we expect undefeated seasons. And I think thats a really good thing. Trying to leave a legacy of excellence on a program and getting back to where it was for so long.
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Rams owner buys massive 520,000-acre Texas ranch

Cam Newton explains why he did not dive on fumble

George Karl’s agent rips Kings, wants broadcaster reprimanded

WATCH: Popovich has funny reaction to New Hampshire results

Suns vets pull packing peanut prank on rookie Devin Booker

Teammate gives Manning final completion ball from Super Bowl


Report: Ole Miss Football cited in 13 of 28 department violations by NCAA

Larry Sanders to consider NBA comeback after other interests stabilize

The NCAAB power rankings

SEC begins crying foul over Jim Harbaugh’s spring break plans at Michigan

Marc Gasol reportedly out indefinitely with broken foot

Patriots waive Montee Ball despite never officially re-signing running back

WATCH: Blackhawks coach walks out of press conference

Greg McElroy: Cam Newton 'quit on his team'

Tennis umpires secretly banned over gambling issues

WATCH: Dancing Kentucky fan slides down rail, fails

Clemson LB has great response to NFL draft analyst's criticism

Former Aggies QB Kyle Allen reveals culture problems at Texas A&M

Roy Williams collapses during game vs. BC

Panthers TE Greg Olsen shaves off his playoff beard

Derek Fisher thanks Knicks in statement

Miami Heat to honor Shaq by retiring his number 32

Oakland Raiders release Nate Allen

B.J. Penn announces he will return at UFC 197

Bring back the Dunk Contest

College Football News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The NCAAB power rankings

Report: Kings to keep coach George Karl

Was Alain Vigneault right about NHL's lack of punishment towards Wayne Simmonds?

Report: Knicks fire coach Derek Fisher

The best and worst commercials from Super Bowl 50

Best and worst from Super Bowl 50

Six best plays from Super Bowl 50

Eli doesn't look thrilled as Peyton wins Super Bowl

Did Beyonce almost fall down during Super Bowl halftime show?

Curry to serve as drummer for Panthers

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker