Simply put – Peter Tom Willis had the finest season of any quarterback in Florida State history before him when he led the Seminoles as a senior in 1989.
Willis, who came to FSU from Morris, Alabama, had to wait for his chance behind some great Seminole signal callers. In fact, he did not start until his senior year, but he made the most of it by setting a total of 15 new school records in 1989. He surpassed Seminole great, and fellow Hall of Famer, Gary Huff to become Florida State’s top single season passer with 3,124 yards. He also set the record for passes completed in a season (211), most 300-yard passing games (six), as well as touchdown passes in a game (six). In addition to a fantastic senior season, Willis set five Florida State career records including best passing efficiency at 148.5.
Willis’ senior season saw the Seminoles lose their first two games before roaring back with 10-straight wins over the likes of Syracuse, Auburn, Miami and Florida. On a team that many considered the nation’s best at year’s end, Willis helped put the exclamation point of that notion with a 41-17 win over Nebraska in the Fiesta Bowl.
Willis went on to an NFL career with the Chicago Bears and a stint with the Tampa Bay Storm of the Arena league. He was named color analyst for the Seminole Radio Network just prior to the 1998 season.