Every year, the wide receiver that is considered the nation’s best is given the Biletnikoff Award. As a senior in 1964 which was way before my time, Biletnikoff caught 70 passes for 1,179 yards, but that was his only good season at the college level. He was drafted by the Oakland Raiders in the AFL Draft in 1965 in the 2nd round and he played in the AFL/NFL for 14 years, all of them in Oakland. Biletnikoff is in the Pro Football Hall of Fame and also the College Football Hall of Fame.
Fred Biletnikoff was never a burner like some receivers, but he had hands like few others and if the quarterback even got the ball close to him he was going to find a way to catch it. Often, he would make a circus catch and make the quarterback look good. Simply said, Fred Biletnikoff was a talent
and there’s small wonder why an award is named after him.
He was a great player on every level, but at Florida State, they had a more productive player a few short years later. His name is also a lot easier to spell than Biletnikoff. I can tell you that first hand since I misspelled it a few times while writing the first paragraph.
6-4, 180 high school seniors usually are better at basketball than football and Ron Sellers was a pretty good basketball player. At Paxon High School in Jacksonville, Florida he helped his team to the state championship in basketball, or so the internet tells me.
In football, his team posted a 9-1-1 record and Ron Sellers was All State in both sports.
Signing with the Florida State Seminoles in 1965, he had to play on the freshman team that season because of the rules back in the day.
Sellers exploded onto the national scene in 1966 with 55 receptions as a sophomore. Amazingly, he caught 13 passes against Virginia Tech which were good for 138 yards and may have gotten his name out there.
Florida State was not the household name in football like they are in current times. The Seminoles finished with a 6-5 record in 1966.
From my memory, Ron Sellers was a tall, bow legged guy without great speed. Yet, against Wake Forest that season, he had an 85 yard touchdown reception. Sellers had those great hands like a Biletnikoff and could bring in a ball if it was anywhere near him.
That was my memory of him, but I only saw him in the NFL.
Both Sellers and Florida State got better in 1967 with 70 receptions and a 7-2-2 record. Sellers’ 70
receptions were good for an impressive 1,228 yards and 8 touchdowns. Considering the time period, these were really impressive stats. Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Gary Beban threw for only just over 1,300 yards in 1967. Offenses were not of the hurry up variety and the game moved much slower as most teams ran the football predominantly.
Against Alabama in Florida State’s second game, Sellers caught 13 passes for 165 yards and a score. His last game of the season, against Penn State, he hauled in 14 passes for 145 yards.
For his efforts, Ron Sellers was named a consensus All American in 1967. Not too shabby for a tall, skinny guy without a lot of speed, from Jacksonville, Florida.
As a senior in 1968, Ron Sellers had a phenomenal season catching 86 passes for 1,496 yards and 12 touchdowns. This was the 3 yard and a cloud of dust era when players just didn’t catch this many passes. With everyone in the stadium knowing fully well that Sellers was going to be on the receiving end of most of quarterback Bill Cappleman’s passes, he was still able to come down with the football time after time.
Sellers was again an All American as he caught 16 passes against South Carolina and 14 against both Wake Forest and Houston on back to back Saturdays. He also had 13 receptions against Memphis. His receptions against South Carolina totaled 259 yards and 3 touchdowns. He had 5 touchdowns against Wake Forest.
After having such a fantastic career at Florida State, Sellers was taken in the 1st round of the 1969
NFL Draft, by the Boston Patriots with the 6th overall pick.
He wasn’t a bust, in 3 seasons with the Patriots he did well his first two years, and then only caught 14 passes in his third season. He was traded to the Dallas Cowboys where he was their leading receiver. He caught the winning touchdown pass from Roger Staubach against the San Francisco 49ers in the playoffs in a dramatic come from behind victory.
For his his contributions to the Cowboys, he was traded to the Miami Dolphins. He was a part of Super Bowl winning Miami, but was released before the 1974 season.
Don’t feel bad for Ron Sellers, he started his own business after football. Check out Ron Sellers and Associates.