Saturday’s 11 a.m. SodTalk at the Sod Cemetery will open the Sod Casket with FSU’s 108th Victory Sod from the Boston College win and fans will hear from three Seminole pass receivers who always caught the ball: Kurt Unglaub, Ryan Sprague and Matt Henshaw. SodTalk is at the Sod Cemetery between the Bowden Statue and Dick Howser Baseball Stadium, under shade trees and tents, 60 minutes before the noon kickoff against Alabama State.
Kurt Unglaub was a state champion record-setting wide receiver at Tallahassee’s Leon High who was one of Bobby Bowden’s first signees in 1976. He brought a winning attitude as the Seminoles improved from a 5-6 record his freshman year to 11-1 and 10-2 records in his junior and senior seasons. Although always a “possession receiver,” as a freshman, he set FSU records for the longest TDs by a wide receiver with a 91-yard TD catch in a snow storm at North Texas State and then followed up with a 96-yard TD the next week in Doak Campbell against Virginia Tech. Kurt Unglaub’s Seminoles broke a nine-game losing streak to UF with a historic Gainesville thrashing of the Gators 37-9 in 1977 and followed with three more victories over Florida.
Ryan Sprague came to FSU as a walk-on fullback and center from Augusta, Ga., in 1997. By the next summer, he proved he belonged and earned a scholarship as a tight end. He became a starter by his junior and senior years and became one of Heisman Trophy winner Chris Weinke’s most reliable targets. In his four-year career, his Seminoles won four ACC titles, played in the Fiesta, Orange and two Sugar Bowls, had a record of 45-5, and were undefeated national champions in 1999.
Matt Henshaw was destined to be a Seminole. He came to FSU from Brentwood, Tenn., as a 208-pound quarterback in 2001 and would become a 255-pound tight end. His dad, George Henshaw, had been a player and coach for Bobby Bowden, before becoming a 20-year NFL coach and is now an analyst for the Seminoles. Matt Henshaw became a starting tight end his Junior and Senior seasons, catching 31 passes in his career. His Seminoles brought home three ACC Championships, playing in the Gator, Sugar and two Orange Bowls.