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Minnis making most of senior season

With two touchdowns against the Gators and 1,340 yards for the year, "Snoop' ranks among the best of all FSU receivers.

By PETE YOUNG

© St. Petersburg Times, published November 19, 2000


TALLAHASSEE -- With the exception of his nickname, Marvin "Snoop" Minnis hadn't done too much to distinguish himself in his first three seasons at Florida State.

Saturday night, the regular season closed for Minnis' fourth and final year. It will go down as one of the best by a Seminoles wide receiver.

Topping off a great season with a spectacular game, Minnis helped lift No. 3 FSU to a 30-7 win over No. 4 Florida.

Earlier in the day, Minnis was named one of three finalists for the Biletnikoff Award for the nation's top receiver. He validated his nomination with eight catches for 187 yards -- both career highs -- and two touchdowns as the Seminoles routed the Gators.

"Snoops, gosh he just played great. I can't believe how good he's playing," coach Bobby Bowden said. "A lot of people say, "Where was he (in previous seasons)?' ... He was hurt. He had a sprained ankle one year, a dislocated elbow another.

"Had it not been for that, he'd have been doing this a couple years ago."

Minnis has 63 catches and 11 touchdowns this season. His 1,340 receiving yards is the second-best in school history behind Ron Sellers' 1,468 in 1968. His receptions are eighth-most (Sellers, 86). His touchdowns are tied for fifth (Andre Cooper, 15, 1995).

This season, Minnis easily eclipsed his receptions (52), yardage (758) and touchdown (6) totals from his first three seasons combined.

A mixture of good size (6 feet 1, 185 pounds) and speed with great hands and instincts, Minnis, from Miami Northwestern, waited his turn to shine behind Peter Warrick and Ron Dugans. This season, with those two in the NFL, Minnis emerged from a crop of capable receivers to become quarterback Chris Weinke's most reliable target.

In the first quarter, after Florida had tied the game at 7, Minnis sprinted past Florida cornerback Bennie Alexander and hauled in a 34-yard touchdown pass to put FSU up for good.

"I told (my teammates) earlier in the week, if they go to man coverage, I'm going to have a big game," Minnis said. "Our receiving corps needed to step up. ... I just went out there and I felt like I was in the zone." In the third quarter, with the Gators down 21-7 and on the ropes, Minnis finished them off. Running a similar pattern to his first touchdown -- straight down the right seam -- Minnis got behind reserve safety Lester Norwood and corralled Weinke's pass for a 51-yard touchdown to give FSU a 27-7 lead and end Florida's comeback hopes.

"Snoop, he stepped up again tonight," Weinke said. "Tonight capped off not only a season-long friendship and partnership that we've had, but a career-long partnership."

Before the game, it was announced Minnis, along with Antonio Bryant of Pitt and Freddie Mitchell of UCLA, was a finalist for the Biletnikoff Award, named for former FSU receiver Fred Biletnikoff, the school's first consensus All-American in 1964.

After making a pedestrian 19 catches for 257 yards and three touchdowns last season, the guy nicknamed after the Peanuts character can become the first FSU receiver to be honored as the nation's best.

"Snoop finds a way to make a big play," Weinke said.

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