TALLAHASSEE -- Sebastian Janikowski and Dustin Hopkins couldn’t be any less alike.
Both have kicked at Florida State, and the similarities pretty much end there.
Janikowski, currently the Raiders’ kicker, was a big-bodied Polish kicker at Florida State in the late ’90s. He won back-to-back Lou Groza Awards and was as famous in his time as a Seminole for being able to boot kicko0ffs through the uprights and for bar-fighting.
“That was a period of time when FSU was just running everything. So all the fans [and alumni] that have been following FSU for a really long time are like Sebastian this, Sebastian that,” joked Hopkins, a senior.
“Which is awesome because rather than remembering negative things about Florida State kicking, he brings to the table a very positive image.”
At least in regard to kicking, Janikowski is a nice break from Florida State’s history of kicks sailing wide right. He is in many ways synonymous with Seminoles kickers.
But Hopkins, now a senior vying for a Groza trophy of his own, couldn’t be less like his predecessor.
Hopkins is athletic, but of a much smaller stature than Janikowski. He’s thoughtful and gives insightful answers, and he’s anything but a wild child.
“He’s a great person, great Christian guy. If you think of a Christian, it’s him,” said senior fullback Lonnie Pryor, Hopkins’ roommate of three years. “Dustin’s going to be in my wedding [one day].”
Hopkins and Janikowski are now linked atop Florida State’s kicking record books. On Saturday, Hopkins tied Janikowski for second all time at Florida State with 66 career field goals.
To underscore just how different Hopkins is from Janikowski, who was picked 17th overall by the Raiders in 2000, Hopkins wasn’t even aware of his feat.
“I’ve heard about it from different people,” joked Hopkins. “[But] I didn’t know the Janikowski thing until you said it. I just found out.”
The two have never spoken, never met.
“I’ll hit Graham [Gano] up every once in a while, obviously Shawn [Powell]. But, I’ve never spoken with Sebastian.”
Gano himself was a Groza winner, and Powell is a punter with NFL aspirations, but it’s Hopkins and Janikowski who will be forever linked as Seminole fan favorites atop the FSU record books.
With seven more field goals Hopkins will tie Derek Schmidt for first all time at Florida State. It’s a record that’s been four years in the making, but one that Hopkins is quick to downplay.
Much like when his school-record 145 consecutive extra-point conversion streak that was snapped two weeks ago against Savannah State, Hopkins doesn’t get high on the makes or low on the misses.
He just stays in the moment.
And while he admits he would love to win a Groza award, a national championship would be preferable to him.
“I think it would be a lot more rewarding to win a team award than a single award,” Hopkins said. “I’ve just got to stay in the moment and good things will happen.”