Seminole Showdown in NFL Conference Championships

Halli Allen, Correspondent (@HalliAllenFS on Twitter) 

TALLAHASSEE, FLA., (www, – It will be a showdown as some of the best of the former Florida State Seminoles compete this weekend in the NFL conference championship matchups Sunday afternoon. 

The Falcons and former Florida State running back Devonta Freeman, who had 2,730 yards, 31 touchdowns as a Seminole (2011-13) will kickoff the conference championship matchups against the Green Bay Packers.

Atlanta Falcons running back Devonta Freeman was selected in the fourth round of the 2014 NFL Draft. In his rookie year he accumulated 248 rushing yards on 65 carries and 225 receiving yards on 30 receptions. He also recorded one receiving and one rushing touchdown.

In his first NFL start against the Dallas Cowboys in 2015, he scored his first professional career touchdown and hasn’t stopped since. Devonta has recorded 1541 combined yards and 14 touchdowns this past season. During the last game played against the Seattle Seahawks Freeman recorded 125 yards combined with one touchdown.

The Falcons will not only welcome the Green Bay Packers inside the Georgia Dome Sunday, but also former Florida State defensive tackle Letroy Guidon. As a Seminole from 2004 to 2008, Guidon had 66 career tackles. Both men decided to forgo their senior years at Florida State to declare for their respective drafts.

Guidon was selected in the fifth round by the Minnesota Vikings in the 2008 NFL draft. He appeared in 66 games while starting in half of those as a nose tackle for the Vikings. He had 88 recorded tackles, with even more assists, sacks, and had two fumble recoveries. He went on to be picked up by the Green Bay Packers in 2014.

He finished the 2014 season with a career high 3.5 sacks, 32 tackles, two forced fumbles and one batted pass. After the 2016 regular season Guidon recorded 20 tackles with 10 assists. The former Seminole started in the last match against the Dallas Cowboys but recorded no stats.

Closing out Sunday’s playoff games, former Seminole offensive lineman Tre Jackson, and the Patriots will face the Pittsburgh Steelers. And, former Seminole Lawrence Timmons, a 6’1 234lbs linebacker, who while at Florida State (2004-06) accumulated 126 tackles and eight sacks.

Also playing for the Steelers, Linebacker Vince Williams, recorded over 50 tackles during his time at Florida State (2008-12). All three men chose to forgo their chances to enter their respective drafts, and all played their senior years with the Seminoles.

Tre Jackson, the champion Seminole is one of only two FSU players that have a National Championship ring in this year’s NFL playoffs. He was drafted by the New England Patriots in the fourth round of the 2015 NFL draft. He played in 13 games with nine starts at right guard his rookie year while dealing with a knee injury. Jackson started the season with a knee injury and was put on a (PUP) physically unable to perform list. Players on this list can still attend team meetings and use team facilities, but cannot practice and cannot play.

Unfortunately, Tre’s injury did not heal properly and he ultimately missed the entire 2016-17 season.

The Pittsburgh Steelers selected Lawrence Timmons 15th overall in 2007. He was a backup to James Harrison at right outside linebacker. He finished his rookie season with 13 tackles. To end his second-year on a high note, the Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Arizona Cardinals 27-23 where Timmons recorded five tackles.

On January 7th 2017 against the Miami Dolphins Timmons recorded 14 combined tackles and two sacks to help The Steelers win 30-12.

Vince Williams, who also plays for the Steelers, was drafted in the sixth round of the 2013 NFL Draft. Williams finished his rookie season with a total of 53 combined tackles and 40 solo tackles in 15 games, 11 of those Vince started.

In the 2014 season Williams was moved to backup right linebacker, which was held by Lawrence Timmons. He finished the season with a total of 43 combined tackles, 28 solo tackles while starting three games and playing in all 16 games.

In the 2016 season, he started four games in place of Shazier and played in his absence before returning to his rotational role mid-season. He finished the season with a career-high 47 combined tackles and two sacks in four starts and 16 games.

Both games will be played on Sunday, January 22nd. Falcons and Packers play at 3:05 p.m., Patriots and Steelers will play at 6:40 p.m.


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