1970s Runningback


Leon Bright
Leon Bright was a 5’9″ 175 lbs running back out of Merritt Island, FL.  As a freshman, Bright didn’t start out making an impact until toward the end of the season when he had a 22 carry 105 yard performance against Miami.  He followed that up by combining for 26 carries and 112 yards against Virginia Tech and Houston to end the year.  The next season, he got started with a bang with back-to-back 100 yard games in route to leading the Noles in rushing.  In addition to his rushing, Bright had 25 catches for 374 yards in his career.  He also was a game changing kick returner with a 100 yard kickoff return to his credit as a freshman.  Unfortunately, Bright’s career at FSU was a short one.  After being inactive his junior season in 1976, Bright opted to take his talent to the pros – first in the Canadian Football League, then later in the NFL for 5 seasons from 1981-85 mainly as a return specialist.

Year Rushes Yards Yards Per Carry Touchdowns
’74 61 296 4.9 2
’75 162 675 4.2 3

Larry Key
Larry Key was a 5’9″ 180 lbs running back out of Inverness, FL.  Quite simply, Key was one of the most productive runners in FSU history.  Littered throughout the record book Key has the longest touchdown run in FSU history, the 6th most yards rushing in a season, the 5th most 100 yard games,  and the 4th most yards rushing in a career.  Key led the Noles in rushing in 3 of his 4 seasons in Tallahassee and quickly became a crowd favorite.  After his 1,117 yard campaign in ’77 (the first in Florida State history), he was named an AP Honorable Mention All-American.  In addition to his exploits running the ball, Key had 62 catches for 568 receiving and was a productive kick returner with 1,348 yards in his career.  He was elected to the FSU Hall of Fame in 1984.

Year Rushes Yards Yards Per Carry Touchdowns
’74 123 602 4.9 3
’75 119 522 4.4 3
’76 144 712 4.9 4
’77 239 1,117 4.7 3

Hodges Mitchell
Hodges Mitchell was a 5’9″ 177 lbs running back out of Dallas, TX.  In 1972 Mitchell had what was, at the time, the most productive season in FSU history.  Against a schedule littered with big name teams, Mitchell had five 100 yard games that season.  After transferring from Texas Christian, Mitchell had just two season in Tallahassee.  In his 2nd and final year, his total numbers declined, but he still managed to tally three 100 yard games on the season.

Year Rushes Yards Yards Per Carry Touchdowns
’72 192 944 4.9 3
’73 171 669 3.9 2


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