One of the greatest defenders in Florida State football history came from Gainesville, Fla. of all places. Aaron Carter signed with FSU in the midst of one of the worst periods for the Seminole program but played a big role in turning everything around.
Carter was clearly a talented defender when he arrived at FSU in 1974 and coaches used him all over the field as he played defensive back, linebacker and defensive end at various times. But when Bobby Bowden took over the program in 1976 he moved Carter, then a rising junior, into a starting role at linebacker. The two then set the tone for great FSU defenses of the future.
FSU won just four games over Carter’s first two seasons but finished 5-6 in 1976. As a senior, Carter led FSU to a 10-2 final record and a ranking of 14th in the Associated Press poll. FSU held nine opponents to 17 or fewer points in 1977, including Texas Tech in a 40-17 win in the Tangerine Bowl.
Carter’s senior year was literally one for the record books. He led the team with 181 tackles, which still stands as the all-time single season FSU record 36 years later. Carter also amassed a school record 512 career tackles from 1974-77 which is also a record that has not been broken.